Unfortunately, none of us are immune from the development of diseases associated with the appearance of malignant tumors. One of the most severe and very common pathologies is liver cancer. Signs and symptoms of this disease are most often manifested against the background of previously transferred liver pathologies. Fortunately, medicine has made a big step forward, and this disease can be cured.
Liver cancer: causes
As you know, the liver is considered a filtration organ. It is due to it that the body is cleansed. Many neglect their health, with the result that the liver is subjected to severe blows, especially under the influence of external negative factors.
The state of the liver is affected by psycho-emotional mood, stress, smoking, alcohol, eating unhealthy foods. Treatment specialists have been discussing for a long time, trying to determine the exact causes of liver cancer. Until now, doctors have not been able to establish an exhaustive list of the causes of this pathology, since in various situations an important role is played by genetic predisposition, lifestyle, nutrition, transfer of complicated diseases, etc.
As you know, a malignant tumor can not appear suddenly. This disease develops only in the affected diseased cells. The formation of a malignant tumor on the liver is due to the influence of a number of factors, such as:
- hepatitis viral type of varying degrees (especially for chronic forms B and C);
- cirrhosis - during the development of such a disease, liver cells are modified, as a result of which the main function of the organ is lost;
- regular consumption of foods that contain aflatoxin - this pathogenic fungus multiplies in some products and only in conditions of high humidity, for example, in soybean, corn, poor-quality rice, peanuts, etc .;
- an increase in the concentration of iron in the body, the so-called hemochromatosis;
- gallstone disease in severe advanced form;
- parasitic pathology in severe form;
- exposure to carcinogens, especially when hazardous industrial products are ingested.
Doctors also express the opinion that a sexually transmitted disease, in particular, syphilis, can also provoke liver cancer. Men most often fall into the risk group because of their lifestyle. Also, liver disease susceptible athletes who use large amounts of steroid drugs. There is an opinion, however, it has not yet found its scientific and practical confirmation that liver cancer may occur on the background of diabetes.
The first signs of pathology
Often, many people are not even aware of the development of such a terrible and complicated disease as liver cancer. At the manifestation of the slightest symptoms, you should immediately contact the attending specialist and undergo a full-scale examination. If liver cancer is detected in a timely manner, then this ailment can be cured not only by surgery, but also through organ transplantation.
Particular attention should be paid to their health by people with a history of hepatitis or cirrhosis. They are recommended to systematically undergo relevant comprehensive examinations and lead a healthy lifestyle. As you know, the liver is the only organ that is able to regenerate itself.
Doctors note that liver cancer can occur in two forms:
Primary form oncological disease arises mainly from pathogenic affected liver cells. Also, this pathology can develop from immature or diseased cells of the hepatic vessels or bile ducts.
The secondary form of liver cancer results from the development of cancer of other organs. As practice shows, this form of cancer is metastatic. The defeat of the liver cells can occur as a result of cancer of the stomach, intestines, pancreas.
At the initial stage, liver cancer is difficult to identify. To do this, the patient needs to undergo a full-scale examination. Often, people turn to attending specialists when a form of liver cancer is already running. This is due to the fact that at the initial stage, the characteristic symptoms are practically not manifested, since the neoplasm has not yet grown, and the vessels and connective tissues remain unaffected.
At an early stage, liver cancer is often confused with other diseases. This period is characterized by the following symptoms:
- fast fatiguability;
- general weakness;
- decrease in working capacity.
Treatment specialists urge people at risk to undergo a systematic examination. As practice shows, in many cases, liver cancer is detected as a result of the study of other organs against the background of the development of a different pathology.
How does a tumor manifest itself?
The development of cancer of the liver goes through 4 stages. And if at the initial stage the characteristic symptoms are practically absent, then with the growth of a malignant tumor, the signs of the presence of pathology become specific and pronounced.
If you do not diagnose liver cancer in a timely manner and do not undergo a treatment course, a number of factors will quickly grow a malignant tumor. In the second stage, the tumor reaches a size of 5 cm. In this case, the blood vessels are already affected by the pathogenic cells. During this period, the patient has the following symptoms:
- increase in the temperature threshold (in exceptional cases, the temperature may exceed 38 °);
- feeling of heaviness in the peritoneum;
- pulling stupid bouts of pain, especially after exercise;
- pain in the region of the right hypochondrium (in some cases, the pain may be given to the lumbar region);
- nausea and gag reflex;
- excessive gas formation;
- dysfunction of the digestive tract: there is mainly persistent and intense diarrhea.
If the patient does not undergo treatment at the second stage, then he will start to lose weight dramatically, the pain syndromes will become regular, the fever will be kept constantly due to the growth of the tumor and the spread of toxins.
In the third stage of liver cancer, the size of the malignant neoplasm increases. As practice shows, it is at 3 stages of the development of pathology the easiest to diagnose it. It is during this period that the patient exhibits specific symptoms, in particular:
- increase in liver size, which can be determined even by palpation;
- constant feeling of bloating (fullness);
- swelling occurs;
- jaundice appears;
- often there are bleeding from the nasal passages;
- fluid accumulates in the abdominal cavity;
- hormonal changes;
- intraperitoneal bleeding may occur;
- a pronounced spider vein appears on the skin;
- pain syndrome is permanent.
In the fourth stage, all of the above symptoms appear with greater intensity, as metastases spread to neighboring organs. As practice shows, it is impossible to cure liver cancer of the last stage. Due to the various manipulations and medications, doctors can only alleviate the condition and prolong the patient's life, but not completely cure the illness.
How many live with liver cancer?
There is no exact formula to calculate the life expectancy for liver cancer. A number of factors affect the patient's life span, which even the attending specialists cannot take into account.
In identifying and treating liver cancer in the initial stages, survival and complete recovery is 75%. As for stage 3-4 of the development of pathology, at this stage the size of the tumor, the presence or absence of metastasis will affect the patient's life span. In extreme cases, specialists can perform a liver transplant and remove the affected organ. As practice shows, in most cases the outcome of such an operation is positive and increases the life expectancy of the patient.
Despite the fact that modern medicine has almost limitless possibilities, unfortunately, doctors are not omnipotent. In some cases, they cannot cure the patient completely of liver cancer. But the attending specialists will do everything in their power to alleviate the symptoms and prolong the life of the person. Do not forget that the psycho-emotional state and faith in healing play an important role in the fight against illness. Be healthy!