Cancer of the liver is a dreadful disease that usually affects other parts of the body by the time of its diagnosis. This dreaded disease ranks as the 5th most common kind of cancer.
Hepatoma, another name for cancer of the liver, is one of the deadliest and has been known to kill those afflicted by it within a year.
Cancer of the liver occurs as a metastatic cancer or cancer that begun in other parts of the body and has spread to the liver. Although it’s not clear what causes cancer of the liver, some risk factors have been said to be:
- Diabetes – those who have this illness are more prone to cancer of the liver
- Chronic infection with hepatitis B or C virus
Generally, those who have been diagnosed with cancer of the liver have a very low chance of surviving longer than a year.
Factors such as primary or secondary cancer, untreated or treated through chemotherapy or any other means, unfortunately don’t have an effect on the survival rate. The grade of the cancer, or how abnormal the cancer cells look and how fast they tend to spread, will also have an effect on the survival rate.
However, early diagnosis of the cancer itself can improve your chances of survival rather than the treatments. Further, the patient’s general health condition, age, and response to the treatment also play a key role in fighting this disease.
Favorable initial conditions during diagnosis for cancer of the liver include:
- Small tumor
- Generally good condition in the liver
- ittle or no vascular invasion
With these conditions, a person can still have a high survival rate for cancer of the liver when treated with certain therapies such as surgical resectioning, especially when the cancer is limited to the liver and has not spread yet.
Another option is to undergo a liver transplant. However, this is a very tricky and expensive procedure. It will also require further treatment with immunosuppressive chemotherapy to ensure that all cancer cells have been killed.
Chemotherapy itself is also a high-risk process as it also kills the good cells and will have different side effects depending on the patient.
Another common treatment of cancer of the liver is the removal of the tumor and the affected part of the liver. If there is no other cancer cells found during surgery or if they haven’t spread to the lymph nodes yet, there is also a very high chance for survival.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer of the liver and has a good survival rate, major lifestyle changes need to be done to ensure that the cancers don’t come back. You have to quit smoking and drinking alcoholic drinks.
A change in your diet is also a must. Eating fruits and vegetables rich in fiber and antioxidants can keep your liver healthy. Regular exercise is also highly recommended. In some cases, doctors advice patients to take supplements and medicines for maintenance.