Liver cancer is a disease that occurs in the liver due to growth as well as the spread of unhealthy cells. There are two types of liver cancer. One is primary liver cancer which starts in the liver. the other one is metastatic liver cancer which spreads to the liver from another organ. HCC, i.e., Hepatocellular carcinoma, is considered the most common type of primary liver cancer and is twice as common in men than in women.
Symptoms of liver cancer
Symptoms of liver cancer are not shown up until the later stage of the disease, but sometimes if the cancer is diagnosed earlier, it can be helpful in its treatment. Some of the symptoms of liver cancer are listed below:
- Feeling full after a small meal
- Weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Enlarged liver
- Pain in the abdomen
- Swelling or fluid build-up
- Yellowing of skin
- Enlarged veins on the belly
Detection and staging of liver cancer
As early as you get diagnosed with liver cancer, the treatment options will be more. however, small liver tumors are very hard to detect with a physical examination as the right rib cage covers the liver, and cancer can be felt it becomes large. Liver cancer can be detected by screening, but doctors recommend this screening test for people at higher risk. Doctors will test them and look for liver cancer if a patient with cirrhosis gets worse for some reason.
The time liver cancer is detected, doctors will figure out to know to what extent it has spread, and this procedure is termed as staging. The stage of liver cancer will let doctors know how much cancer is in the body, and it will help to determine the seriousness of the diseases and to decide the best option to treat it. Stages of liver cancer range from stage I till stage IV, and the lower the number, the less cancer is spread. the stage of liver cancer is based on the results of physical examination, imaging tests like ultrasound, CT or MRI scan and biopsies and is termed as a clinical-stage. It is determined by examination of tissue which is removed through an operation.
Treatment of liver cancer
To treat liver cancer, some factors are taken into consideration by the doctor like the extent of cancer along with the health of the liver. It is essential to discuss all treatment options of liver cancer along with side effects and goals. It will also help doctors to make a decision that is best for the patient. Liver Cancer Treatment cost in India ranges from USD 4600 to USD 5000 for Liver Resection (Hepatectomy). On the other hand, Liver Transplant Surgery cost in India ranges from USD 38000 to USD 42000. For Hepatectomy, the stay in the hospital will take six days. And for Liver Transplant Surgery, the hospital stay will be for 22 days.
Treatment of liver cancer by different types of doctors
Depending on the situation, there are different teams of doctors that treat liver cancer patients. This team of doctors includes :
- Radiation oncologist for radiation therapy
- A surgical oncologist for surgery to treat cancer
- Medical oncologist to treat cancer by chemotherapy, immunotherapy and targeted therapy
- A gastroenterologist to treat diseases of the digestive system counting liver
- interventional radiologist
People with liver cancer can be treated by removing or destroying cancer; however, the entire treatment can be stressful for them. In some cases, cancer may not go entirely and might come back again. Thus people should get regular checkups to know the exact condition after the surgery; doctors will still want you to have checkups on a daily basis and to follow up the appointments. In some cases, liver cancer treatment side effects may last longer, should not panic and consult a specialist from time to time. Doctors recommend follow-ups on a regular basis if you’re liver cancer has been treated by surgery or by a liver transplant. Follow up on a daily basis is essential to know the cancer re occurrence.