What is Liver Cancer?
What is Liver Cancer? Liver cancer is a cancer that originates from the liver or liver organ. There are two classifications of liver cancer based on the location of growth or spread (metastasis), namely primary and secondary liver cancer. Primary liver cancer is a cancer that begins in the liver and includes a potentially fatal type of cancer. Secondary liver cancer starts from other body parts then spreads and grows in the liver.
One of the most common types of liver cancer is hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) / hepatoma which is a primary liver cancer that develops from a major liver cell called hepatocytes. HCC occurs about 75% of all primary liver cancers. This cancer can be a complication of hepatitis (inflammation of the liver) and cirrhosis (normal liver tissue is replaced by scar tissue).
Secondary liver cancer is commonly named by the organ from which early cancer cell sites develop, such as metastatic colon cancer, which begins in the large intestine and then spreads to the liver. Secondary liver cancer is more common than primary liver cancer. In addition to the spread of cancer in the colon, secondary liver cancer also comes from the spread of breast, lung, pancreatic, stomach, ovarian, and skin cancers (melanoma).
Much Happens in Developing Countries
In the world, liver cancer is the fifth most common cancer among men and ninth among women. This cancer is the second most common cause of cancer deaths worldwide, after lung cancer.
About 83 percent of cases of liver cancer in the world occur in developing countries. The cause of high cases of liver cancer in developing countries is the high cases of hepatitis B and C in these countries, including in Indonesia. Whereas in developed countries such as countries in Europe, the main causes of liver cancer are high alcohol consumption and increased obesity.
In Indonesia, there are an estimated 18,000 new cases of liver cancer each year, based on data in 2012. This figure is expected to increase with increasing numbers of hepatitis B and C patients who currently reach 30 million inhabitants.
Essential Functions of Liver Organs
With hundreds of functions performed, the liver becomes one of the most complex organs in the human body. Liver cancer is categorized as a serious disease due to inhibition of liver functions, even actually stop it. The following are some of the most important functions of the heart:
- Eliminating toxins from the body
- Digest proteins and fats
- Producing a fat-busting liquid (gall) that helps with digestion
- Helps control blood clots
Recognizing Liver Cancer Symptoms
Symptoms of this disease are usually in the form of general or less specific such as fatigue and nausea. Many people who just feel the symptoms clearly after the cancer reaches an advanced stage. Symptoms of liver cancer include:
- Weight loss without cause
- Jaundice (skin and whites of yellowing eyes due to increased levels of bilirubin in the human body)
Causes of Liver Cancer
The exact cause of liver cancer is still unknown, but the disease is thought to be related to tissue damage of liver cells, such as liver cirrhosis. Cirrhosis can be caused by hepatitis B or hepatitis C virus infection.
Hepatitis B or C sufferers of liver inflammation are at risk of triggering damage and the occurrence of scar tissue in the liver. This condition can then develop into liver cancer.
Some unhealthy habits or lifestyle can be a risk factor for liver cancer. One of them is alcohol abuse. Consuming more than the recommended amount of alcohol can cause permanent liver damage and increase the risk of liver cancer. In addition, obesity is believed to also increase the risk of liver cancer because it is closely related to non alcoholic fatty liver disease (Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD).
Early Cancer Diagnosis May Be Possible
If a general practitioner suspects or diagnoses you have had liver cancer, you will be referred to a specialist hospital for further examination. The sooner the disease is diagnosed, the more effective the treatment is given.
In fact only 1 in 5 people can survive, at least a year after being diagnosed with liver cancer. And only 1 in 20 people can survive for at least five years. This is because as many as 9 out of 10 new patients are diagnosed when the cancer already exists at an advanced stage. In most people, the cancer has grown too severe to be cured.
So for liver cancer can be diagnosed earlier, people who are at high risk of the disease is advised to check themselves regularly and regularly. These high-risk groups are those who are positively infected with hepatitis B and C and who have had cirrhosis. The benefit of routine examination is to diagnose liver cancer at an early stage, ie when treatment for total recovery is more likely.
Liver Cancer Treatment
The cancer stadium determines what type of treatment will be administered to the patient. If the cancer is diagnosed already in an advanced stage, treatment is only intended to reduce pain and discomfort for the patient for the rest of his life. But it is different if the cancer can be diagnosed before it develops more severe, then the condition is more likely to be handled.
There are at least three ways to treat liver cancer. The first is a radio frequency ablation, namely the use of an electrical device specifically used to destroy cancer cells in the liver. Second is a resection surgery, which is the process of removal of certain parts of the liver that is infected. The third is a liver transplant, which replaces the liver of the patient with the liver organ of the donor.
Preventing Liver Cancer by Healthy Living
The risk of liver cancer can be reduced by avoiding the risk of hepatitis B and C infected by getting vaccinated and sexually safe. No less important, apply a healthy lifestyle such as regular diet and exercise so that the body avoid obesity.
In addition, avoid excessive alcohol consumption and cigarettes. If you want a body piercing or tattooing, be sure to do so in a place that has a guaranteed level of sterility.