Generally, the liver cancer installs in two different ways. First of all, when the liver is already weakened by a cirrhosis alcoholic or has a hepatitis viral. The disease is diagnosed in most cases during routine medical follow-up. On the other hand, it is possible for a perfectly healthy person to fall victim to this disease. It is then more difficult to detect the symptoms, because they appear late and do not always correspond to the manifestation of cancer. Only carrying out a series of examinations will make it possible to make a reliable diagnosis. Diagnosis of the disease, in particular cancer and the state of the liver, is necessary in order to be able to administer the processing the most suitable.
What are the circumstances that can lead to suspect liver cancer?
We will see here the two previous possibilities, namely the case of people who already have a problem with the organ concerned, the liver, and those who are unscathed.
For someone with a chronic illness
In this case, the liver cancer is usually diagnosed during an examination to monitor liver disease. Patients with cirrhosis alcoholic orhepatitis will have to carry out an ultrasound of the organ every 6 months. The goal is to know the evolution of the state of the liver. It is during these examinations that it is customary to observe a suspicious mass.
For a seemingly healthy person
It is quite possible that the liver cancer be asymptomatic for a long time. And even if some symptoms appear, such as fatigue or even digestive disorders, it is difficult to identify them related to the disease.
The most common symptoms
However, some signals may be taken seriously by the doctor so that additional examinations can be carried out. This is particularly the case of the detection of a mass on the organ. others symptoms such as a loss of appetite or even nausea will have to be taken into account. The same for jaundice, also called jaundice, which gives the whites of the eyes, the skin a yellow color. Itching can also appear on the skin, it is pruritus. Also, ascites or effusion of fluid that causes the belly to swell may occur. Finally, in the case of cirrhosis at an advanced stage, the patient will be victim of tremors and prone to confusion. These cases may lead the doctor to perform an ultrasound or blood test. The blood test allows you to know how the liver works and the ultrasound to detect any nodules. Additional examinations will still have to be undertaken to determine with precision if it is indeed a cancer.
How to diagnose liver cancer?
After the ultrasound and the appearance of nodules, a CT scan will be done to confirm that cancer is the correct diagnosis. In addition, a blood test will be used to measure alpha-fetoprotein, which is the substance in the blood indicating liver cancer.
Finally, the state of the liver will have to be specified in order to initiate the treatments adapted and thus avoid any possible future complication.
Factors that increase the risk of liver cancer include:
- Chronic HBV or HCV infection
- Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection increases the risk of liver cancer.
- Cirrhosis. This progressive and irreversible condition causes scar tissue to form in your liver and increases your risk of developing liver cancer.
- Certain hereditary liver diseases. Liver diseases that can increase the risk of liver cancer include hemochromatosis and Wilson’s disease.
- Diabetes. People with this blood sugar disorder have a higher risk of liver cancer than those without diabetes.
- Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. An accumulation of fat in the liver increases the risk of liver cancer.
Exposure to aflatoxins. Aflatoxins are poisons produced by molds that grow on poorly preserved crops. Crops, such as grains and nuts, can be contaminated with aflatoxins, which can end up in foods made from these products.
Excessive consumption of alcohol. Drinking more than a moderate amount of alcohol daily for many years can lead to irreversible liver damage and increase the risk of liver cancer.
How to prevent the occurrence of liver cancer
Reduce your risk of cirrhosis
Cirrhosis is scarring of the liver, which increases the risk of liver cancer. You can reduce your risk of cirrhosis if you:
– Drink alcohol in moderation, if at all. If you choose to drink alcohol, limit the amount you consume. For women, that means no more than one drink a day. For men, that means no more than two drinks a day.
– Maintain a healthy weight. If your current weight is healthy, try to maintain it by choosing a healthy diet and exercising most days of the week. If you need to lose weight, reduce the number of calories you eat each day and increase the amount of exercise you do. Try to lose weight slowly: 0.5-1 kilogram per week.