Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: Liver cancer, also known as as hepatic cancer and primary hepatic cancer, is a serious type of cancer that starts in the liver.
Of the several types, the most common type of liver cancer is hepatocellular carcinoma (or hepatoma, or HCC), which begins in the main type of liver cell (hepatocyte).
Other types of liver cancer, such as intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma and hepatoblastoma, are much less common.
The liver is a large, vital organ in all mammals and has a wide range of functions, including detoxification of various metabolites, protein synthesis, and the production ofbiochemicals necessary for digestion. In the human, the liver is located in the upper right quadrant of the abdomen, below the diaphragm.
While the exact cause of liver cancer is unknown, most cases are linked to cirrhosis that occurs due to either hepatitis B, hepatitis C, or alcohol.
It is often hard to detect liver cancer early because signs and symptoms don't appear until it is at an advanced stage. Signs and symptoms of liver cancer may include:
- Upper abdominal pain
- Swelling of the abdomen
- A lump or pain in the right side below the rib cage
- Unexplained weight loss
- Jaundice - yellowing of your skin and the whites of your eyes
- Loss of appetite
- Back pain
Besides, a new study suggests increase in a person's waist size indicates a greater risk for liver cancer. It shows that for every 5 kg/m2 increase in BMI, there was a 38 and 25% increase in the risk for liver cancer in men and women, respectively.
You should consult a doctor immediately if you notice any of the symptoms listed above or have previously been diagnosed with a condition known to affect the liver. Remember, the sooner liver cancer is diagnosed and treated, the better a person's chance of being cured.