Cancer can directly or indirectly arrive in the liver. Cancer that arises directly in the liver is known as primary liver cancer, while cancer that has spread from another site to the liver is known as secondary, or metastatic, cancer. The latter is much more common. Primary liver cancer can develop as a result of hepatocellular carcinoma, and most primary liver cancer sufferers will have a prior history of live disease. Primary liver cancer is the world’s third most common cause of cancer death.
Primary liver cancer can be totally asymptomatic, but the most common symptoms that are experienced by sufferers include weight loss, tiredness and pain in the upper right side of the abdomen.
Hormone therapy is a widely employed method of treatment. Hormones can both kill and create cancer cells, and this type of therapy focuses on limiting the production of harmful hormones. The therapy might also require the removal of a particular hormonal gland.
Hormones are chemicals produced by glands, such as the ovaries and testicles. Hormones help some types of cancer cells to grow, such as breast cancer and prostate cancer. In other cases, hormones can kill cancer cells, make cancer cells grow more slowly, or stop them from growing. Hormone therapy as a cancer treatment may involve taking medications that interfere with the activity of the hormone or stop the production of the hormones. Hormone therapy may involve surgically removing a gland that is producing the the hormones.
The treatment begins with a hormone receptor test, which will effectively decide on the best approach to treatment. If the test proves that hormones are a motivating factor in the spread of cancer, then one of several treatment approaches will be determined. It might prove necessary to prevent the cancer cells from receiving the hormones causing them to grow, or, it might be decided to address the glands that are creating the affecting hormones. In some cases, it might be required to surgically remove the appropriate glands. Glands that might be removed are those that produce either estrogen or testosterone, namely, the ovaries or testicles. The type of treatment will of course vary according to different factors related to the patient - such as the individual’s age, the type of tumor and the size of the tumor.
Some specialized medications are used during the course of hormone therapy. Tamoxifen is a medication used to reduce the harmful effects of estrogen production, but will not result in a cessation of such production. Men can also be treated with tamoxifen. Other drugs, such as anastrozole and letrozole are capable of causing estrogen production to cease.