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Liver Cancer – What is it?
 
 
Cancer, in general, starts out when cells that are abnormal in certain ways begin to rapidly grow. These cells then invade other body tissues and they continually multiply.
 
There are numerous different types of cancer that can affect the liver and they may originate inside the liver which is referred to as primary liver cancer, or they may originate elsewhere in the body, after which, they spread through the bloodstream to the liver, which is referred to as metastatic cancer.
 
 
Is There a Liver Cancer Treatment?
 
Liver cancer can prove to be troublesome to effectively treat. This is because liver cancer symptoms are not necessarily obvious and the liver cancer thus fails to be diagnosed until it reaches the advanced stages.
 
Furthermore, liver cancer possesses a resistance to treatment that involves standard chemotherapy, and it does have a tendency to reoccur after surgery.
 
There are a number of factors whereby the treatment of cancer is dependent:
 

The location, size and stage the tumor is at
Has the cancer metastasized (already spread around the body)?
The ability of the liver to function well
The patient’s age
The patient’s overall health
Personal preference

 
 
Should the cancer have failed to spread to alternative areas of the body from the liver, and should the liver otherwise be healthy, a liver resection (surgery) will provide for the best opportunity for cure.
 
In this circumstance, regardless that a large section of liver tissue is removed, because the liver has an excellent capacity for regeneration, it can still function properly.
 
A further surgical option for those that are unable to undergo resection is that of liver transplant. This is where the liver in diseased form is removed and then it is replaced with a donated organ. Once this occurs the patient must continue to take drugs for the remainder of their life so that the new organ is not rejected by the body.
 
For anyone that is not a good candidate for transplantation or surgery, there are alternative treatments which are available to them:
 

Therapy using radiation: Radiation therapy, using x-rays that are high energy, is utilized as a way of destroying cancer cells.
Injection of ethanol: Ethanol is directly injected into the liver tumor as a way of destroying the cancer cells.
Oral medication: Sorafenib (Nexavar) is an oral medication that is FDA-approved and can be used to fight against the most common form of liver cancer which is called hepatocellular carcinoma.
Cryosurgery: In cryosurgery, the cancer cells are frozen and destroyed using a metal probe.
Radiofrequency ablation: Using heat, a probe is inserted as a way of destroying the cancer cells.
Chemotherapy/ chemoembolization. Cancer cells are destroyed using powerful drugs. Sometimes, these drugs are injected into the liver tumor directly.
Clinical trials: A clinical trial is where a research subject is assigned to a particular form of treatment and the outcomes of the treatment are measured. By participating in such a clinical trial study, the participant takes an active role with regards to their own health care.

 
 Liver Cancer Symptoms

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