Liver cancer begins in the tissues of the liver, an organ that sits in the upper right portion of the abdomen, beneath the diaphragm and above the stomach. The liver has many functions. It helps store nutrients from food, aids with digestion, and clears toxins from the body.
Liver cancer types include:
- Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), also called hepatoma
- Fibrolamellar HCC
- Angiosarcoma, also called hemangiocarcinoma
- Secondary liver cancer, also known as a liver metastasis
Primary liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is a type of cancer that forms in the cells of the liver, which is located in the upper right section of the abdominal cavity. According to the American Cancer Society, in the U.S., about 42,030 new cases (29,480 men and 12,550 women) will be diagnosed with liver cancer per year, with the average patient being an adult male over the age of 60. Of the liver cancer patients diagnosed, approximately 32,000 will die from the cancer. Outside of the states, it’s one of the most common types of fatal cancer, responsible for roughly 700,000 deaths per year.
The liver, your largest organ, is responsible for three primary functions:
- Digest food
- Filter toxins
- Store energy
With cancer, over time, the cells mutate and break down, causing the liver to eventually fail. Left untreated, there’s also the distinct possibility of the mutated cells growing into a tumor and/or spreading to other organs in the body.
There are four primary types of liver cancer:
- Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) – Accounts for 75% of all liver cancer and is most commonly seen in long-term alcoholics. Cancer develops in the liver’s primary liver cells, hepatocytes, and then spreads to the stomach, pancreas, and intestines.
- Cholangiocarcinoma – Also known as bile duct cancer, accounts for 10% to 20% of all liver cancer.
- Liver Angiosarcoma – A rare form of cancer that occurs in the liver’s blood vessels. It’s difficult to detect and progresses rapidly, so by the time a diagnosis does occur, it’s typically already at an advanced stage.
- Hepatoblastoma – An exceedingly rare form of cancer that almost exclusively occurs in children under the age of 3. Detected in the early stages, this form of cancer is one of the most successfully treated in the country.
Causes and Risk Factors
Although the specific causes remain unknown, HCC is one of the few forms of cancer with easily identifiable links between behavior and development. Risk factors include:
- Aflatoxin exposure – Poisons from molds on improperly stored crops.
- Cirrhosis – Scar tissue on the liver, often caused by drinking.
- Diabetes – Blood sugar disorder.
- Extreme alcohol use and/or abuse – Leads to permanent liver damage.
- Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) and Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) – Chronic infection that impacts all organs, but especially the liver.
- Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease – Buildup of fat in the liver.
Early Detection, Diagnosis, and Staging
Unfortunately, the vast majority of cases don’t manifest signs or symptoms in the early stages. When they do occur, signs can include:
- Abdominal pain in your upper region
- Abdominal swelling
- Involuntary weight loss
- Jaundiced skin
- Loss of appetite
- White chalky stool
Preventative measures are far more effective than early detection measures for this disease. The best way to accomplish this is by changing behaviors linked to cirrhosis and chronic infection. Steps include:
- If you must drink, drink alcohol in moderation.
- Eat healthy, exercise, and maintain a healthy weight.
- Get vaccinated for Hepatitis B.
- Reduce the risk of Hepatitis C by being careful when it comes to:
- Knowing your sexual partner’s health status
- Avoid all intravenous drug use
- Go to clean and certified shops for a tattoo or piercing
Stages of Liver Cancer
There are four stages of primary liver cancer and each stage could require a specific treatment plan, surgery, or even a transplant. In brief, they are:
- Stage I – Single mass in the liver that has yet to spread to blood vessels.
- Stage II – Single mass in the liver that has spread to blood vessels, or multiple liver tumors that are less than 2 inches wide.
- Stage III – Multiple liver tumors, with at least one larger than 2 inches wide, or, cancer has spread into adjoining organs but not the lymph nodes or distant organs.
- Stage IV – Tumors have spread into the lymph nodes, or distant organs like the lungs, bones, and brain.
If you believe you or a loved one is showing liver cancer symptoms, do not wait to seek help. At Immunity Therapy Center, we specialize in holistic treatment plans for a variety of cancers, diseases, and other illnesses. Contact us today to plan your visit and see what treatment plan is best for you.
American Cancer Society. Key Statistics About Liver Cancer. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/liver-cancer/about/what-is-key-statistics.html
Ringehan, M. NCBI. Viral hepatitis and liver cancer. (2017). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5597741/
Stanford Health Care. Liver Cancer Staging. https://stanfordhealthcare.org/medical-conditions/cancer/liver-cancer/liver-cancer-stages.htmlTherapies we use
Customized Care For the Body And The Mind
Discuss Your Custom Alternative Treatment Plan With Our Team Today
Hear from Our Patients
Peter Richardson was having significantly increasing pain in his stomach earlier in February. Following doctors orders for treating constipation, Peter took laxatives and pain killers for 5 months, but nothing was helping. When he went back to the doctor a second time they did a CT scan and found a large mass in his abdomen […]
“The nurses… prayed with us during hard times.” Marie started experiencing pain in her stomach. When she visited her doctor in Belize, he prescribed medicine and said she should feel better in two weeks. Instead, she felt worse. She went to Mexico for more tests and was diagnosed with stomach cancer. Through research and asking friends […]
Johnny Russell Jr
“I am amazed at Dr. Bautista’s knowledge, we know the term doctor really means teacher.” Johnny had never been to Tijuana, Mexico prior to his visit at the Immunity Therapy Center, he is now in love with the city and the culture. After 3 weeks of treatment, Johnny was able to leave cancer free of […]
Johnny Russell, Jr. | Follow Up
This is Johnny’s 3rd follow up. He has been cancer free since June 2017 after being at ITC for two and a half weeks starting in May of 2017 with Myeloma Cancer. He decided to stay the full 6 weeks to get the full treatment and benefits of the therapies. Since then he maintains a […]
9 years ago Clara Kornelsen came to ITC for treatment after being diagnosed with Breast Cancer. Although she was living in Canada at the time and healthcare was free, she felt it was the right thing to come to ITC for treatment. Today, Clara is “strong and healthy as ever” and thanks Dr. Bautista for […]
When Xiao was diagnosed with stage 4 Lymphoma her pain was so bad she classified it at a level 10 every single day. After just a few days at Immunity Therapy Center her pain dropped to a 5, and after a full week she didn’t even need to take her pain medicine anymore. Xiao encourages […]
Prior to being diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma, Melissa Porter lead a very healthy lifestyle. While traveling in Costa Rica she found a lump in her right underarm that was found to be Cancerous. When Melissa returned home she researched a variety of alternative treatment options and after being told about Immunity Therapy Center by her […]
“The Immunity Therapy Center Saved My Life and I Hope they Can Help You Too” On March 14th Debbie was diagnosed with a rare type of Ampullary and Liver Cancer. Her doctors told her that her diagnosis was essentially a death sentence. After some extensive research, Debbie discovered ITC online and decided it was worth […]
Elaine arrived at Immunity Therapy Center for treatment in 2015, and she continues to share updates on her good health since returning home. We were so happy to receive this note: “Good Morning Dr. Bautista, It is now one year ago that I first came to your center. I often think back on my time […]
Elaine Reimer | Follow Up
Elaine received treatment at Immunity Therapy Center in the Spring of 2015 and 4 years later she remains Cancer Free and healthy! Elaine recently came back to visit with Dr. Bautista and his amazing staff and to give existing patients hope and support. Congrats on remaining Cancer Free Elaine!