Liver Cancer Treatment India - Types Of Treatment & Cost In India

Published: 24th September 2009
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Liver Cancer In India

Primary liver cancer begins in the cells of the liver itself. Although many cancers are declining in the United States, new cases of primary liver cancer are increasing.

Cancers that commonly spread to the liver include colon, lung and breast cancers. These cancers aren't called liver cancer. Instead, they are named after the organ in which the cancer began - such as metastatic colon cancer to describe cancer that begins in the colon and spreads to the liver. These metastatic cancers are treated based on where the cancer began, rather than being treated as primary liver cancers.

Symptoms of Liver Cancer

When symptoms do appear, they may include some or all of the following : -
* Loss of appetite and weight
* Abdominal pain, especially in the upper right part of your abdomen, that may extend into your back and shoulder
* Nausea and vomiting
* General weakness and fatigue
* An enlarged liver
* Abdominal swelling (ascites)
* A yellow discoloration of your skin and the whites of your eyes (jaundice)

Causes of Liver Cancer

Your liver is a football-sized organ that sits in the upper right portion of your abdomen, beneath your diaphragm and above your stomach. Your liver processes most of the nutrients absorbed from your small intestine and determines how much sugar (glucose), protein and fat enter your bloodstream. It also manufactures blood-clotting substances and certain proteins. Your liver performs a vital detoxifying function by removing drugs, alcohol and other harmful substances from your bloodstream...

Tests and diagnosis of Liver Cancer

Screening : -
Screening for liver cancer hasn't been definitively proved to reduce the risk of dying of liver cancer. For this reason, many medical groups don't recommend liver cancer screening.

However, the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases recommends liver cancer screening for those thought to have a high risk...

Diagnosis : -
If you experience any of the symptoms of liver cancer, your doctor will ask you about your medical history and perform a physical exam.

Tests and procedures used to diagnose liver cancer include : -

Ultrasound (ultrasonography) : - This test uses sound waves to produce a picture of internal organs, including the liver. Ultrasound is painless and usually takes less than 30 minutes...

Computerized tomography (CT) scan : - This test uses X-rays to produce cross-sectional images of your body. You may also have a variation of the test - known as a CT angiogram - in which contrast dye is injected into an artery in your liver.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) : - MRI creates images using a magnetic field and radio waves. Sometimes a contrast dye also may be used.

Liver biopsy : - In this procedure, a sample of tissue is removed from your liver and examined under a microscope. Liver biopsy is considered the only definitive way to diagnose liver cancer.

Blood tests : - Doctors sometimes use a blood test that checks for the presence of alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) - a type of protein found in small amounts in adults - to detect liver cancer.

Treatments of Liver Cancer

Treatments for primary liver cancer depend on the extent (stage) of the disease as well as your age, overall health, feelings and personal preferences. Discuss all of your options carefully with your treatment team.

The goal of any treatment is to eliminate the cancer completely. When that isn't possible, the focus may be on preventing the tumor from growing or spreading. In some cases palliative care only is appropriate. Palliative care refers to treatment aimed not at removing or slowing the disease but at helping relieve symptoms and making you as comfortable as possible...

Surgery : - The best treatment for localized resectable cancer is usually an operation known as surgical resection. In some cases, the area of the liver where the cancer is found can be completely removed. You aren't a candidate for surgical removal of liver tumors if you have cirrhosis or only a small amount of healthy liver tissue. Even when resections are successful, there is a chance the cancer can recur elsewhere in the liver or in other areas within a few years...

Alcohol injection : -In this procedure, pure alcohol is injected directly into tumors, either through the skin or during an operation. Alcohol dries out the cells of the tumor and eventually the cells die. Each treatment consists of one injection, although you may need a series of injections for the best results. Alcohol injection has been shown to improve survival in people with small hepatocellular tumors...

Radiofrequency ablation : - In this procedure, electric current in the radiofrequency range is used to destroy malignant cells. Using an ultrasound or CT scan as a guide, your surgeon inserts several thin needles into small incisions in your abdomen. When the needles reach the tumor, they're heated with an electric current, destroying the malignant cells. Radiofrequency ablation is an option for people with small, unresectable hepatocellular tumors and for some types of metastatic liver cancers...

Chemoembolization : - Chemoembolization is a type of chemotherapy treatment that supplies strong anti-cancer drugs directly to the liver. Chemoembolization isn't curative, but it can shrink tumors in a certain percentage of people, which may provide symptom relief and improve survival. During the procedure, the hepatic artery - the artery from which liver cancers derive their blood supply - is blocked, and chemotherapy drugs are injected between the blockage and the liver...

Cryoablation (cryosurgery or cryotherapy) : - This treatment uses extreme cold to destroy cancer cells. Cryoablation may be an option for people with inoperable primary and metastatic liver cancers. It may also be used in addition to surgery, chemotherapy or other standard treatments...

Radiation therapy : - This treatment uses high-powered energy beams to destroy cancer cells and shrink tumors. Radiation may come from a machine outside your body or from radiation-containing materials inserted into your liver. Radiation may be used on its own to treat localized unresectable cancer...

Chemotherapy : - This treatment uses powerful drugs to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy may be systemic - meaning it travels throughout your body in your bloodstream - or regional. Systemic chemotherapy is generally not effective in treating liver cancer, but may be a treatment option in certain cases...

Liver transplantation : - In this surgical procedure, a diseased liver is removed and replaced with a healthy, donated organ. Liver transplantation may be an option for some people with small, early-stage liver tumors and for certain people with bile duct tumors...

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