Cancer is one of the most serious diseases known to mankind.It starts when some of the body’s cells turn abnormal and start to grow out ofcontrol. They may start to invade other tissues and organs, and the cancer thathas spread in this way is known as a metastatic cancer.
Liver cancer isproperly considered to be a cancer which starts in the liver, as opposed tometastatic liver cancer which originated from another place in the body. The liveris the largest organ of the body, in charge of filtering of harmful substancesfrom the blood, storing the sugar that the body uses for energy, and digestingfat from food. It is one of the most important organs in the human body and mancannot live without it.
Causes of livercancer, as well as any other, are not known. Most commonly, however, the liveris affected by metastatic cancer. Becauseall the blood in the body must pass through it, the liver is accessible to cancer cells. Liver cancer isone of the most common forms of cancer in the world.
Symptoms and Treatment
In most cases,symptoms do not appear in the early stages. It is, therefore, important thatone consult a doctor as soon as the first signs have presented themselves. Inthat way, the treatment will start as soon as possible, and will be moreeffective.
The most commonsigns of liver cancer are: upper abdominal pain, inexplicable weight loss,weakness and fatigue, fever, loss of appetite, abdominal swelling, nauseasometimes accompanied by vomiting, an enlarged liver, jaundice, etc.
Treatment of thistype of cancer may consist of surgery (to remove the cancerous cells, to removea portion of the liver, or to perform liver transplant surgery), chemotherapyand radiation therapy, etc.
The doctor will presentthe patient with all the options, and depending on the stage of the cancer,the overall health of the patient, and the age of the patient, recommend thebest course of treatment.
Liver Cancer LifeExpectancy
Life expectancy in the case of this type of cancer dependsof number of factors, such as the stage of cancer, the dimension of the tumorand if the liver cancer has spread to other body parts. The following factor thataffects the life expectancy is the ability of the liver to function and thehealth of the patient.
Liver cancer survival rate around the world is just 7% ofthose with liver cancer that has reached the 5 year survival mark. When livercancer is removed surgically, the liver cancer survival rate in such cases isabout 75% after 1 year of surgery and 50% after 3 years of surgery. After 5years of surgery, the life expectancy is about 30%.
However, there is no use in performing liver transplantsurgery in the case of metastatic liver cancer, because the cancer takes littletime of spreading to other organs.
The only thing one can do to increase life expectancy is tocatch the symptoms early, and take good care of their overall health.