Reasons of liver cancer
The following aspects influence the pathologic development:
- liver cirrhosis;
- Non-efficient treatment of hepatitis B and C;
- Female birth control medications;
- Anabolics, steroids;
- Chronic alcoholism;
Symptoms of liver cancer
Primary liver cancer is not very common but, in latest years, growing disease. Hepatic cancer is a cancer which develops in liver itself but not migrate from the others cancerous lesions. Normally, it is associated with other chronicle liver diseases, especially, with cirrhosis. It is life threatening condition that needs immediate measures to reduce the risks it further development.
What Are the Liver Cancer Symptoms?
Early you could hardly notice symptoms of developing hepatic cancer as it, similar to many others malignant diseases, starts developing asymptomatically. The first signs you are able to notice are:
- Pain in the right upper part of abdominal area
- Loss of appetite
- Sickness and vomiting
- Enlarged liver that is possible to feel
With time some other symptoms appear as:
- Yellowish skin and the whites of the eyes
- Feeling full after small portion if meal
- Weight loss without any other reason
- Itching skin
- Fatigue and weakness
Sometimes liver tumor can result in quite specific symptoms in men as
- Gynecomastia (enlarged breast in men)
- Testicular shrinkage
Those symptoms are explained by hormonal changes caused by liver tumor.
Women can notice such sings of possible hepatic cancer as white or pale fingernails.
Advanced Liver Cancer
In Stage 4 (advanced) liver cancer metastases are spread from initial source throughout the body to distant parts or/and invade lymph nodes. The symptoms of advanced cancer depend on which organ is affected.
Abdomen. You may have fluid in abdominal area which makes you feeling swollen and uncomfortable.
Obstruction. If cancer occupied the bowel it can lead to obstruction when tumor blocks intestinal lumen.
Lymphatic metastases. Lymph nodes become swollen and pain.
Kidney problems. Secondary tumor in kidney can cause ureters blockage and stop urine flowing.
Bones. If metastases spread to the bones it leads to the bone pain and makes the bones fragile and easy fractured.
Brain. When cancer spread to the brain it results in multiply symptoms including headache, inability moving, seizures, and difficulties seeing, hearing and speaking.
Lungs. Breath shortage is one of the main symptoms of metastases in the lungs.
Secondary Liver Cancer Symptoms
Secondary liver cancer unlike primary one is a result of migration of cancerous cells from another location which is primary source of malignant disease. It does not have any special symptoms but common as:
- General weakness of the body
- Night sweat and fever
- Sickness and weight loss and others
Final Stage Symptoms
In final stage of liver cancer the following symptoms develop:
- Jaundice (yellow tincture of skin and eyes)
- Poor blood clotting (as liver could not support it anymore)
- Fluid in abdomen
- Brain dysfunction (partial or complete)
The Modern Diagnostic Methods for Hepatic Cancer
There are a number different diagnostic techniques and what to choose depends on many factors as disease degree, general health condition of a patient, cancer location and others. A doctor starts from evaluating physical examination of the patient and necessary Lab tests.
A few blood tests could be done as general, biochemical, and a test for presence AFP agent which is a good indicator of presence of hepatic cancer.
When laboratorial test allow determining cancer by changing chemistry, the other means as ultrasound, MRI, CT scan, and angiography help to find a tumor location and estimate its size. For the same purposes in Germany laparoscopy is also used, which is examination of inner space with telescopic tube. The advantage of the method is that it could combine diagnostics and surgical treatment in one session. With that minimally invasive technique it is possible to perform sparing liver resection.
Biopsy is a most reliable method to reveal abnormal cells in tissues sampling.
The method of diagnostic and treatment is always chosen individually. If you do not know what is preferable in your case you can ask professionals.
Experts in Cancer Diagnostics and Treatment in Germany
It is not possible to cope with liver cancer alone and for successful treatment you need professional help in specialized cancer center. German clinics offer comprehensive approach and help of expert in the different fields of cancer treatment. Depending of disease degree and patient’s priority it is possible to have consultation with an oncologist, cancer surgeon, radiologist, specialist in chemotherapy and others physicians in related fields. Using the services of GMG you can ask expert a question on any of your problem. Stay in touch with best doctors of your choice with support of GMG.
Diagnostics in German clinics
Diagnostic procedures are aimed at getting maximum information about the patient’s condition, the tumor peculiarities, metastases existence and location, and other factors that help to choose maximally efficient therapy. These procedures include:
- Laboratory tests;
- specific markers;
- Angiography for analyzing vessels that feed cancer cells;
- Laparoscopy: a specialist can study the tumor features via a camera and get material for cytological test;
- Ultrasonic scan;
- Contrast 3D layer-by-layer tomography:
- Magnetic resonance;
Liver cancer treatment in German oncologic clinics
Day by day medicine in Germany evolves, and innovational, maximally efficient and sparing treatment methods are implemented. The treatment includes a few methods:
Operative intervention is the most effective way to fight the liver cancer tumor. Lobectomy is a resection of an unperceivable part of liver together with the tumor.Hemihepatectomy is an amputation of the major liver part. There is left and right hemihepatectomy.
Liver transplantation treatment
The transplantation of a donated organ is the only efficient way to fight a severe form of liver cancer. Getting donated material is possible in two ways:
- Liver of the dead donor
- Liver of the living donor
In some period of time after the transplantation the liver gains 80-85% of its nominal weight. By the moment the liver becomes fully functional, its work is supported by artificial liver apparatus.
Health aids that destroy cancer cells are injected or taken in pills. Besides, chemotherapeutic agents are injected right into the liver with the aim of a catheter.
Radiotherapy and radiosurgery treatment
Radiation exposure is used for destroying the tumor or reducing its size before the surgery or after it for final inhibition of cancerous cells.
Cyber-Knife, the newest method of extra-precise exposure is used for removing metastases.
This procedure implies selective inner beaming. Tiny radioactive balls are inserted into the malignant tumor via catheter. Then Yttrium-90 active agent radiumizes the tumor from the inside during a few days destroying it.
Maximally precise effect on cancerous cells without damaging healthy tissues is provided by proton therapy. Protons pass through the healthy cells on a high speed and gives out energy only at the breaking moment in the tumor.
This method requires the injection of 96% ethanol under ultrasonic control with the help of a special needle. If the result is positive, the procedure can be repeated. Big tumors (above 5 cm in size) require bigger doses. Ethanol treatment is conducted under narcosis.
Thermal (radiofrequency) ablation
In thermal ablation the needle is inserted into the tumor and a laser beam is emitted. It burns out the tumor without injuring healthy tissues. The radiofrequency ablation implies the same procedure with an electrical generator instead of laser.
Cryo treatment of liver cancer is performed by affecting the tumor by low temperatures. Liquid nitrogen is injected via cryoprobe into the tumor, destroying the cancer cells.
This method is used for the therapy of unresectable tumors. Lipodiol with cytostatic is injected into the tumor. Then the tumor arteries are embolized that leads to the inhibition of tumor.
The treatment in the leading German clinics is performed with using the newest technologies and high-tech equipment. Our specialists will help you to fight this serious disease!