Categorized | Cancer

Liver Cancer

There are two types of liver cancer. It may develop in the cells of the liver, called hepatocytes (hepatocellular carcinoma, also known as malignant hepatoma) or in the tubes that pass the bile from the liver (cholangiocarcinoma, also called gallbladder cancer).

Most patients that develop liver cancer have previously been affected by non-cancerous liver conditions, such as cirrhosis and chronic hepatitis, or, less commonly, have been exposed to certain poisonous plants. Liver cancer is a common problem in some rural parts of Africa, China Hong Kong and Taiwan because of the high levels of hepatitis B and C. It is thought that in less developed countries vaccination from hepatitis may be a way to prevent some forms of liver cancer.

People with chronic liver diseases usually do not notice new symptoms after developing liver cancer. The most common symptoms are pain or discomfort in the side of the abdomen, weakness, tiredness and weight loss.

As with may other forms of cancer, surgery is the most effective way to treat liver cancer. However, it is usually difficult to remove it since liver tumours tend to grow and spread to other organs very rapidly. Another form of treatment for liver cancer patients is liver transplantation.

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