Thursday, October 16, 2008

Liver Cancer

Liver cancer refers to the growth of malignant tumors in liver tissue. Cancer that starts in the liver is called primary liver cancer. Cancer that spreads to the liver from another organ is called metastatic liver cancer.

The symptoms of liver cancer:

Often there are no symptoms of liver cancer until the later stages. This is why early detection is difficult. When symptoms do occur, they may include fatigue, pain on the right side of the upper abdomen or around the right shoulder blade, nausea, loss of appetite, feeling full after a small meal, unexplained weight loss and jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and the skin). If you have one or more risk factors for liver cancer and any of these symptoms, you should see your doctor immediately.

Causes OF liver cancer:

There are several risk factors that increase the likelihood someone will get liver cancer.

* Cirrhosis, or scarring, can lead to liver cancer. Over 80 percent of liver cancer cases are linked to cirrhosis. In the United States, hepatitis C and alcohol abuse are the leading causes of cirrhosis.
* Long-term infection with hepatitis B and C are linked to liver cancer because they often lead to cirrhosis. Hepatitis B can lead to liver cancer without cirrhosis.
* Smoking is another probable risk factor, especially among people who abuse alcohol and have cirrhosis.
* Obesity also appears to be linked to primary liver cancer. Less common risk factors include abuse of anabolic steroids, or male hormones, for strength conditioning; exposure to arsenic in drinking water; and exposure to certain chemicals in the plastics industr


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