The liver is a gland which has a vital role in metabolic activities and detoxification. The secretion of bile is intaken by the intestines and it produces proteins that are important for blood clotting and other functions. When a problem arises in the liver, the total body function is being upset. In this article, we will discuss the liver and its diseases briefly.
Types of Liver Diseases
Liver Injury, cysts in the liver, liver cirrhosis, toxic hepatitis, liver tumors, and cancers are the most common diseases occurring in the liver.
Liver Injury: It occurs due to sudden stabbing or a heavy kick to the abdomen or due to an accident. The tear or cut due to the injury will tend to bleed into the abdominal cavity.
Liver Cysts: It occurs very rarely and many people would develop rare cases of multiple cysts. A few patients will experience bleeding in the cyst through which they develop a sharp pain in the shoulder and abdominal regions.
Liver Abscess: Inside the liver, pus is formed. Bacterial infections, abdominal infections, blood stream infections, and liver trauma are the main causes for liver abscess. Nausea, vomiting, discoloration of skin and eyes, lack of appetite, fatigue, high temperature, and pain in the right quadrant of the abdomen are symptoms of liver abscess.
Liver Cancer: Primary liver cancer arises in the liver whereas the secondary one spreads from other parts of the body to the liver (metastasis). Primary liver cancers are very rare and have an occurrence percentage of 2%.
Causes of Liver Cancer
The following conditions increase the risk of primary liver cancer:
Cirrhosis: It is a scared condition of the liver which leads to developing liver cancer.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver: Excessive accumulation of fat in the liver causes this condition.
Alcohol consumption: Regular intake of alcohol at a higher amount for a long time might cause irreversible liver damage and increases the risk of liver cancer.
Diabetes: People with increased blood sugar levels have a greater risk of contracting liver cancer.
HBV / HCV: Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C chronic infections increase the risk of liver cancer.
Obesity: People with severe obesity that crosses BMI levels are at risk.
Symptoms of Liver Cancer
Abdomen swelling, loss of appetite, sudden loss of weight, fatigue, pain in the abdomen, and feeling satiated.
Diagnosis of Liver Cancer
Blood tests: It will show the liver function abnormalities. It will reveal the AFP (Alpha Feto Protein) that indicates the presence of liver cancer.
Imaging Test: Liver cancer, its location, and the size of the tumor are detected with the help of MRI, CT, and Ultrasound.
Liver Biopsy: Inserting a thin needle through the skin into the liver and obtaining sample liver tissues to examine the presence of cancer cells.
Liver Cancer Treatment
It depends on the stage of cancer, age, and general health conditions.
Surgical procedure is adopted in the cases of smaller tumors. The surgeon will remove the tumor along with surrounding cancerous cells.
Liver Transplant is a method of transplanting the liver from another person which is mostly done for severely affected liver conditions such as liver cirrhosis. Liver transplantation is mostly rejected by the body and brings many side effects such as hypertension, body hair growth, diabetes, and weakening of bones and kidneys.
A beam of radiation is passed to the affected site to kill the cancerous cells where the healthy cells are also destroyed. Skin irritation, vomiting, nausea, and hair loss are the common side effects.
Medicines are given either in oral form or by intravenous to kill cancerous cells but, in the process, healthy cells also get killed. The chemo medicines usually induce nausea, vomiting, edema, and hair loss, which is temporary.
It involves injecting heat, laser, or a special type of acid or alcohol into the liver affected blood stream to kill the cancerous cells.
Dr.N.P.Kamalesh is a renowned Gastrointestinal and Laparoscopic Surgeon in PVS Memorial Hospital, Cochin. The surgeon and the hospital offer the best Treatment for All Liver Related Diseases and Liver Cancer in Kochi.
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