Photo by the National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

By David Godfrey

To date, liver cancer is among the top 5 diseases with high mortality. Every year, liver cancer is diagnosed in more than 350 thousand patients around the world. This type of cancer is especially common in men over the age of 40. Fortunately today, thanks to the development of modern medicine, the situation with liver cancer treatment has improved greatly.

Oncologists can treat almost all types of cancer, as well as return the hope for recovery to the patients with advanced tumors. Treatment of liver cancer with percutaneous embolization has significantly improved the therapeutic results.

What is liver cancer?

Liver cancer is a term that combines several malignant diseases. Studies have shown that the most common type of liver oncology is hepatocellular carcinoma, which is developed from liver cells. Hepatocellular carcinoma accounts for about 90% of cases.

The liver is often affected by metastases of other cancers such as cancer of the intestines, lungs, breasts, or ovaries. Metastatic cancer is diagnosed several dozen times more often than primary cancer. Due to the presence of numerous blood vessels in the liver, malignant cells from other organs can get here easily.

Risk factors

As a rule, liver cells are renewed rapidly, because this organ is responsible for the detoxification of the whole body. However, this process can be disrupted. Cells begin to divide quickly and uncontrollably. As a result, healthy cells can transform into tumors. The most common factors that increase the risks of developing liver cancer are:

  • Alcohol consumption and smoking.
  • Liver cirrhosis.
  • Genetic diseases.
  • Autoimmune diseases.
  • Viral hepatitis B and C.
  • Use of anabolic steroids or hormonal drugs.
  • Stress.
  • Obesity.

Symptoms

The main problem in the diagnosis of liver cancer is that it runs asymptomatically at the early stages. That is why it is most often diagnosed at advanced stages when the treatment is less effective. In addition, the symptoms of liver cancer are similar to other pathologies of the gastrointestinal tract organs. The most common symptoms that can help you in early diagnosis of liver cancer are:

  • Loss of appetite.
  • Rapid weight loss.
  • Nausea.
  • Changes in body temperature.
  • Sweating.
  • Pain on the right side of the abdomen.
  • Jaundice.
  • Diarrhea or constipation.

Diagnostics

It is practically impossible to establish the diagnosis at early stages without up-to-date diagnostic equipment. Therefore, many patients choose to be examined and treated in countries where the level of medicine meets the highest international standards. Diagnostics of liver cancer consists of a set of procedures, that are prescribed individually for each patient:

  • Taking anamnesis.
  • Complete blood count and urine tests.
  • Ultrasound examination of the internal organs of the abdominal cavity.
  • CT or MRI.
  • Angiography to determine the number of arteries that supply the tumor.
  • Liver biopsy.
  • In rare cases, doctors can prescribe a laparoscopy.

Present-day treatment

Surgical removal of the tumor is the most common method of cancer treatment. At the same time, it is one of the most complex and traumatic ones. During the removal of the tumor, a surgeon also removes part of the healthy tissues that surround it. Due to the high traumatism of this method, new, more effective, and sparing methods are developed every year.

One of the most innovative methods at the moment is the treatment of liver cancer with percutaneous embolization. During chemoembolization, a drug is injected into the hepatic artery which supplies the tumor vessels. As a result of insufficient blood circulation and action of the drug, the tumor’s function and growth are suppressed.

My opinion of the best countries for treatment

Today, there are many countries for treatment. Turkey, Germany, and Korea are among the top countries in the world regarding the efficiency of oncology treatment. A patient from any country can undergo treatment in these countries. To do this, just contact the medical tourism operator Booking Health.

Together with Booking Health, you can undergo treatment abroad at affordable prices. The company’s specialists will do everything possible so that during your treatment you can completely forget about all the problems. On the Booking Health website, you can find a list of specialized hospitals and description of the available treatment methods.

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