Why Liver Cancer Death Rate Increasing Faster Than All Other Cancer?
Cancer death rates are dropping for all types of cancer in the present scenario. Abundant research and new medical methodologies have made it possible. Every year the reported data examines one particular cancer trend in depth associated with high cancer death rates. Currently, liver cancer is a cause of increased cancer death rate. Along with the death rates, liver cancer incidence rates have also increased sharply. Most of the victims are men. Prevention and early treatment is the only way to fight with cancer. Let’s have a closer look at what liver cancer and how it is becoming an inevitable cause of cancer death rates.
What is liver cancer?
Liver cancer starts in the cells of the liver. Liver cancer can be of many types. The most common and life threatening liver cancer is hepatocellular carcinoma occurring in the main type of liver cell called the hepatocyte. The cancer that starts in another part of the body such as colon and then spread to other body parts is called metastatic cancer.
The most common cause of liver cancer is viral infection with either hepatitis C virus or Hepatitis B virus accounting for 80% of hepatocellular carcinoma. These viruses cause massive inflammation, fibrosis and cirrhosis in the liver. Due to these viruses many genetic changes occur in the liver leading to the production of tumours. Second prevalent cause is Cirrhosis which occurs mainly due to alcohol abuse. Cirrhosis further leads to HCV infection and then leading to liver cancer. Another comes a group of chemicals named as Aflatoxin produced by the fungi Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus. Contaminated food contains these fungi’s in abundant amount. The aflatoxins cause cancer by genetic mutation of a gene in liver. The other minor causes of liver cancer are diabetes, liver fluke infection, smoking, and obesity.
The signs and symptoms of liver cancer are dependent on the type of cancer present. The cancer occurring from the bile ducts is called Cholangiocarcinoma. The signs and symptoms of Cholangiocarcinoma are sweating, jaundice, abdominal pain, weight loss and liver enlargement. Hepatocellular carcinoma, the cancer formed by liver cells known as hepatocytes has symptoms like abdominal mass, abdominal pain, emesis, anaemia, back pain, jaundice, itching, weight loss and fever.
Diagnosis of Liver Cancer
Various imaging techniques are used to diagnose the primary liver cancer. For Hepatocellular carcinoma sonography, computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging are used. HCC acquires a lot of area of the liver so a mass greater than 2 cm has more than 95% chance of being HCC. On the other hand, cholangiocarcimas generally are present in the hilar region of the liver, and as bile duct obstruction. In case of malignant liver cancer radiology tests like endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, ultrasound, CT, MRI and magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography. In some testing techniques, tumour markers present in the blood of liver cancer patients are helpful in diagnosing the types of liver cancers. Some common tumour markers are carbohydrate antigen 19-9 (CA 19-9), carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) and cancer antigen 125 (CA125). Additionally, proteins like alpha-fetoprotein in the blood are also examined. High Alpha-fetoprotein levels are found in the Hepato cellular Carcinoma and intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma.
The foremost prevention of liver cancer is protecting against the Hepatitis virus. Once you get affected by the Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C virus, there are chances of getting cirrhosis, liver failure, and cancer. Vaccination are available for both hepatitis B, but till now there is no vaccination available for Hepatitis C. Early treatment is the only way to stop the progression of Hepatitis C. In case of any risk, immediate screening tests is required. But, if you are the one with chronic Hepatitis B than antiviral therapy is a must to slow down the development of liver disease and also cut down the risk of liver cancer.
People are advised for regular health check-ups. In that liver function test is must to be carried out. It identifies the health of your liver and abolishes if any risk is there future Hepatitis infections by giving an early treatment. Liver function tests measure the health of your liver by assessing the levels of proteins, liver enzymes, or bilirubin in your blood. The test is carried out to screen for liver infections, to analyse the side effects of some drugs, to assess the level of scarring of liver, analyse liver disorder symptoms, and for regular health examination. Thus, liver function test is the best way to be away from any kind of liver disorders.
Survival Rate of Liver cancer
The survival rate of Liver cancer depends on the stage of the disease and the treatment followed. Liver cancer spreads more fast than others cancer that makes out the reason for increased liver cancer death rate. Half of the people who are suffering from liver cancer are diagnosed at an early stage leading to at least a 5 year survival rate. As half the people are not diagnosed at early stages marking an increase in death rate. Liver cancer spreads fast to the surrounding tissues, organs, and lymph nodes making the survival rate lesser. It spreads to other body parts in a fast manner that’s why liver Cancer death rate is more than all other cancers. Fast spread, makes the treatment less effective and eventually causes death. However, when the cancer is diagnosed at an advanced stage, treatments are available only to increase the quality of life.
Liver cancer is a life-threatening disease. It is recommended to have a proper health check-up after every six month so as to keep a track of your liver health. Liver function test are the best preventive method to stay at par from deadly liver diseases like liver cancer.