Cancer in any form is an extremely daunting concept for most of us. It seems to force us to come to grips with our mortality and signals the onset of regular medical appointments, plenty of experimental treatments as well as hefty medical bills. When this cancer affects a critical organ such as the liver, the hurdle begins to seem almost insurmountable.
Liver Cancer: Signs and Treatments
This type of cancer affects not only your liver, but also disrupts numerous bodily functions, and can prove to be fatal in quite a few cases. Numerous treatments later, when the symptoms of this type of cancer still prevail, it becomes difficult to maintain a ray of hope. It is common among patients with liver cancer to begin to question the futility of the available treatment procedures if the result cannot be backed up. So, can liver cancer actually be cured?
Liver cancer is scarcely curable. In its initial stages, when the scope for cure is the highest, the symptoms are usually not visible enough to be detected. However, once it moves on to the second stage or the metastatic stage, it becomes increasingly difficult to cure since cancer would have already spread to most parts of your body. So, while there isn’t a definitive cure for liver cancer, the most you can do is treat cancer so as to prolong it and alleviate the symptoms to a large extent. The liver has a complicated network of blood vessels, and as such dealing with cancer in this region becomes a complicated task. Does this mean that there is no ray of hope? Well, no, not at all. There are numerous treatment procedures that you can undergo in order to treat liver cancer and keep its spread under check. A few treatment options that you may consider in order to slow down the spread of cancer are as follows –
Treatment for Liver Cancer
- Surgery – For those who have a malignant tumor in their liver, that is still in its early stages, surgery is one of the most plausible treatment options. If you are lucky enough to have detected cancer in its primary stages, then this tumor can be removed and the only looming threat would be that of recurrence. However, in most cases, the cancer would have spread to other parts of the body once it has been detected, which makes surgery only half as effective. In some cases, chemotherapy is administered to the patient in order to reduce the size of the tumor so that it can be removed through surgery.
- Liver transplant – A liver transplant, although complicated, is a viable solution for patients of liver cancer as well as liver cirrhosis. It may be an expensive affair, and can take a while to happen, but a transplant can increase your longevity to a large extent.
- Cryotherapy – Cryotherapy refers to the process of freezing the tumor, which when coupled with the usage of radio waves to weaken and destroy the tumor, can be helpful in treating liver cancer. This may be supplemented by radiation therapy, but must be done so with caution since the liver’s tolerance for radiation is quite low. Radiation therapy is usually used in order treat the symptoms of liver cancer which occur in the rest of the body.
Most of these treatments are useful as long as cancer has not spread to an unimaginable extent. However, in the case of extremely advanced cases, the scope for treatment is quite less. The pain and discomfort can be reduced with the help of chemotherapy and radiation, while painkillers can be used to reduce any pain. There have also been developed, which aid in increasing the lives of those afflicted by liver cancer and alleviate the symptoms to a large extent as well.
Curing liver cancer is not yet a complete possibility. In its initial stages, it has scope for complete treatment, but the only other option for those who have reached the second stage lies in treatments that seek to reduce the effect of cancer on your liver and subsequently on your body. Consult your doctor to chalk out various treatment procedures that you can go through, and if your cancer is in its advanced stages then you can sign up for clinical trials which aim to cure liver cancer.
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