There are different types of diseases that people of all ages may contract. But the one that is considered to be among the most dangerous, dreadful and at times life taking is cancer. There are different types of cancer and it may take place in any part of the body. But one of the most feared and a common one is liver cancer. The liver tends to play a significant role to detoxify the body. In case, the liver stops functioning or does not play its part properly, then fat digestion through bile does not take place. In such a case, filtering of blood to eliminate toxins, wastes and drugs can be affected severely. Contracting liver cancer or liver damage can be disastrous, since it will mean that all such crucial functions will not be performed. It may even result in death in worst-case scenario. Liver cancer treatment cost in India being reasonable and top doctors attending the patients, the chances of survival is quite high. 

What is the liver?

The liver including each and every organ within the body comprises of cells which are living things. They grow and die. New cells are constantly created to replace old as well as the dead ones. But this process is to be regulated very tightly. Otherwise, there is likely to be chaos. The cancer cells may interfere with the regular process functioning. 

The liver weighing about 1.5 kg is the largest organ within the human body. Its presence might not even be noticed, since it remains hidden in the right upper abdomen portion, beneath and safeguarded by the right rib cage. It is also stated to be the body’s busiest organ. 

Its functions

It creates proteins required by the body for proper functioning and includes antibodies, hormones, and enzymes along with other substances. It is rather termed to be the body’s power plant and is a primary energy source. 

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Cancer affecting the liver

Liver cells may multiply itself at abnormal rates, thereby developing liver cancer. Then, it attacks healthy parts of neighbouring cells or the same organ. Cancer cells may spread beyond its original location, thereby establishing new tumours, the process of which is termed as metastasis.

Liver cancer is of two types, namely, Primary & Secondary. The primary type is the tumour that starts from liver, with HCC (Hepatocellular cancer) being the most common form, originating from hepatocytes. The other primary types are rare and include cholangiocarcinoma that arises from the bile duct, gall bladder cancer and hepatoblastoma occurring in children.

The secondary type is cancer originating in other parts of the body and spreading to the liver. Technically, the patient does not suffer from liver cancer, but experience metastases in the liver. 

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Risks of contracting liver cancer

There are various factors which determine the risks. Age and gender, combined with lifestyle and dietary habits do play a significant part. Men are considered to be 2.8 times more prone to get affected with this disease than women. After age 40, the risk tends to increase further. Diet comprising of highly preserved and processed food is toxic for the liver. 

HBV (Hepatitis B virus) is stated to be an important risk factor to contract this disease. Patients located in those areas having higher hepatitis rates, run the risk of higher HCC rates. Conversely patients with HCC are not likely to be carriers of hepatitis B. studies have revealed that men are likely to develop HCC 2-3 times more than women as the latter demonstrates tremendous survival rates, at any stage of the cancer. 

A highly potent carcinogen on the liver cells for each unit weight is Aflatoxins, which are toxins that are produced by Aspergillus funcgus, growing on several crops. It is suspected to be the agents to cause HCC in humans, although this particular aspect is to yet to be established. Aflatoxin positive foods are better avoided. 

Unfortunately, no specific symptoms are noticed for liver cancer. But one particular sign to take note of is pain emerging in the body’s right upper quadrant. The other common indicator is unexplained sudden loss in body weight. Regular preventative measures need to be taken to protect the liver. If affected, the patient can avail low liver cancer treatment cost in India and get proper treatment.

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