About Liver Cancer
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 a failure in liver function. If left untreated, there’s a distinct possibility of the mutated cancer cells to grow into a tumor and/or spread 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 for Liver Cancer
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 – Scarred liver tissue, 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 liver disease symptoms don’t manifest 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
Taking measures to prevent the spread of cancer cells into your body
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 liver 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 liver 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 – The liver tumor(s) has spread into the lymph nodes, or distant organs like the lungs, bones, and brain.
About Natural/Alternative Treatment for Liver Cancer
A traditional liver cancer treatment usually involves chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or some form of surgery. While these methods can deem effective in various ways to fight off tumor cells, these traditional treatments for pancreatic cancer also come with many side effects that can leave a cancer patient physically depleted and weaken their immune system, making it harder to fight off the disease. Alternative treatments offer natural solutions to maintain recovery while regulating side effects from more traditional treatments.
If you have been diagnosed with adrenal cancer, the Immunity Therapy Center offers a full range of alternative, natural treatments to help you manage it. Our team is committed to providing a targeted therapy plan structured around your specific condition and health needs. We offer one-on-one consultations with Dr. Bautista, which ensures that we get to know you personally and build an actual relationship to provide you with the best alternative treatment for adrenal cancer. For more information or to receive a free consultation, please contact us today.
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
At Immunity Therapy Center, our goal is to provide objective, updated, and research-based information on all health-related topics. This article is based on scientific research and/or other scientific articles. All information has been fact-checked and reviewed by Dr. Carlos Bautista, a Board Certified Medical Doctor at Immunity Therapy Center. All information published on the site must undergo an extensive review process to ensure accuracy. This article contains trusted sources with all references hyperlinked for the reader's visibility.
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