What is Liver Cancer and Its Possible Causes?
Today we’ll discuss the causes of Liver cancer, but before that lets first find out what actually is liver cancer? Cancer essentially means the uncontrollable division and multiplication of cells which impair the proper functioning of the human body. What makes thing worse is that these cells rapidly spread through the body since the body is made up of innumerable tissues and cells are the building blocks of tissues. It is important to note that only those cancers that start or originate in the liver can be termed as liver cancer. Functions of the liver include the production of bile to break-down fats, absorb nutrients and allow the body to clear toxins like alcohol or drugs.
There are several different types of tumors that may originate in the liver. These may namely be:
- Benign liver tumors: The tumor does not spread and the patient can be treated surgically.
- Hemangioma: The blood vessels are affected and surgery is useful.
- Hepatic adenoma: There may be symptoms such as pain or heaviness in the abdomen area. Since there is a risk of rupture leading to excess blood loss, doctors advise a surgery for the removal of the tumor.
- Focal nodular hyperplasia (FNH): A surgery is recommended.
Please note that hepatic adenoma and FNH are more common in women.
Possible Causes of The Liver Cancer
The exact cause of liver cancer is still not known.
Though some major factors associated with the causes of Liver Cancer, which are
- Birth defects
- Alcohol abuse
- Chronic infections with diseases such as hepatitis B and C
- Fatty liver disease
- Hemochromatosis (this is a genetic disease in which there is excess iron in the liver)
- Cirrhosis (the scar tissues replace healthy tissues of the liver due to excess consumption of alcohol)
- Use of steroids
- Weak immune system
- Persons suffering from diabetes plus if they consume excessive amounts of alcohol are at a severe risk of liver cancer.
- However, most patients associated with the disease are found to be having scarring of the liver, also known as cirrhosis.
- The American Cancer Society has stated hepatitis C to be the major reason behind the occurrence of liver cancer. Patients with both hepatitis B or C are at a higher risk of developing liver cancer than other healthy people, as both forms of the hepatitis cause cirrhosis.
- Few inherited liver diseases, like hemochromatosis, result in cirrhosis also.
- Type 2 diabetes: Patients of this diabetes along with hepatitis, when consuming excessive alcohol, are more likely to easily develop liver cancer.
- Family history: If a person’s mother, father, or any sibling has had a history of liver cancer, then he or she would be at a risk more than the healthy individual to develop cancer.
- Heavy alcohol use: Consumption of excessive alcohol regularly leads to cirrhosis in the liver.
- Low immunity: Patients with weakened immunity, like those with HIV/AIDS have a higher risk of developing liver cancer which is five times more than other healthy ones.
- Obesity: Being a person with obesity increases chances of developing many cancers, along with liver cancer.
- Gender: Males get a higher percentage liver cancer in comparison to females. But this is mostly due to lifestyle characteristics rather than gender-based.
- Smoking: People with hepatitis B or C if smoke more than they are at a higher risk of liver cancer.
- Arsenic: People dependent on water wells for water consumption that contains naturally-occurring toxin arsenic will eventually have a higher risk of developing liver cancer.
Thus, all these people under the radar of higher risk should be screened properly for any cancer be it liver cancer. This includes people suffering from hepatitis B or C, alcohol-related cirrhosis, and those with hemochromatosis.
Major Symptoms of Liver Cancer
Before reading the symptoms of liver cancer, it is very important to understand that these are tentative symptoms that are common. Thus, it is always recommended to visit a certified doctor and undergo the necessary tests before jumping to a conclusion and causing panic.
- There is rapid weight loss
- There is a loss of the will to eat (this includes favorite dishes)
- There is a constant feeling of nausea, even when empty stomach
- Enlarged liver. There is the feeling of heaviness or an extra lump under the left side of the ribs
- Enlarged spleen. Similar to an enlarged liver, this also feels like an added mass beneath the left side of the ribs
- There is a pain in the abdominal area. This may also occur near the right shoulder blade
- There may be a swelling or easy fluid build-up in the abdomen
- Constant itching beyond relief
- Jaundice leading to yellow eyes and skin
- Enlarged and visible belly veins
Prevention of Liver Cancer Causes
Here we are sharing some prevention tips from the Liver Cancer causes –
- Daily exercise for at least 30 minutes.
- Vaccines for hepatitis B.
- Prevention from hepatitis C. (there are no vaccines for this yet)
- Avoid fatty food
- Limit the consumption of alcohol. This does mean a total abstaining but ensuring only little amounts are consumed.
- Ensure that drinking water is free from arsenic.
- Avoid the consumption of steroids for muscle building.
- Avoid self-medication and painkillers.
- Consume only fresh fruits and vegetables
After preventions too if the symptoms persist you must consult a specialist for the Treatment of Liver CancerLeave a reply