The most important risk factor for development of liver cancer is cirrhosis of liver, the condition in which the liver is damaged because of various reasons like alcohol or hepatitis or fatty liver or other toxins and these are the livers which are at a high risk of developing Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
What is Liver Cancer?
The incidence of liver cancer is on the rise in the last few decades. Liver cancer usually includes various types of tumors, but among them the most common type which we encounter is called hepatocellular carcinoma(HCC). There are also other types of tumors, but they’re less common.
How is Hepatocellular Carcinoma Diagnosed?
Patients with risk of developing liver cirrhosis or patients with liver cirrhosis will be asked to undergo a regular C.T. scan screening to see for the signs of cancer. If there is any need for clarification, an MRI scan can further confirm the presence of a cancer.
How Do We Treat Liver Cancer?
The treatment of liver cancer depends upon two major things. One is the stage of the cancer and the second is the nature of the liver. If a patient with a healthy liver develops liver cancer, the majority of them can be treated by removing that part of the liver which is harbouring the cancer which we call Hepatectomy.
On the other hand if there is a patient who has an existing liver damage and he develops a cancer, many of them may not be eligible for an operation to remove a part of the liver because the liver is already damaged and if you remove part of the liver the remaining liver may not be sufficient to support the patient in such cases. The only resort in such cases is to go for a liver transplant where both the diseases are treated namely the damaged liver and cancer.
But there are a certain group of patients where the cancer has progressed to an advanced stage and it may not be ready for surgery up front in such patients and angiographic methods of treatment are available where through selective cannulation of the blood vessels supplying the tumor, chemotherapy or radiotherapy agent is injected into the tumor and the tumor is destroyed.