Methods of diagnosis and treatment of liver cancer
Hepatocellular, or hepatocellular cancer develops from epithelial cells. Mixed, or hepato-cholangiocellular, cholangiocellular and undifferentiated cancer, is diagnosed much less frequently. Carcinosarcomas and hepatoblastomas are a mixed type of malignant neoplasm that quickly metastasizes to adjacent organs.
Classification and main symptoms of liver cancer
Primary liver cancersubdivided into diffuse and nodular form. Hepatomas develop from liver cells. Cholangiomas - from epithelial cells of the bile ducts. With mixed types of liver cancer, a malignant tumor can develop from cells of any kind.
Symptoms of liver cancer can be very diverse. It all depends on the vastness of the malignant process. Typical clinical picture of liver cancer:
- General causeless weakness.
- Fast fatiguability.
- Decreased appetite.
- Pain and heaviness in the epigastrium.
- The burden in the right hypochondrium.
On examination of the patient and palpation of the affected organ, it can be found that the liver is significantly enlarged, the lower edge is at the level of the navel. Moderate soreness, tuberosity, density, isolated nodes are found in the late stage of cancer. Accordingly, palpation is not the best method for accurate diagnosis and correct diagnosis.
At the third and fourth stages of cancer, the patient's condition deteriorates dramatically. Ascites, jaundice, nasal bleeding, skin telangiectasia appear. The body temperature stably keeps on subfebrile marks, it is not possible to reduce it in the usual ways by taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory or antipyretic drugs.
Intra-abdominal bleeding can occur if the tumor is squeezed or sprouted into the collar vein. The condition is life threatening. The patient requires emergency hospitalization. The slightest delay threatens with the development of peritonitis.
In liver cancer metastasesquickly affect the liver, lymph nodes, peritoneum, lungs, pleura, bones, pancreas, stomach.
Diagnosis of liver cancer
Only a comprehensive diagnosis allows a correct and timely diagnosis. The patient is prescribed:
- ultrasound and radioisotope scanning of the liver;
- computed tomography;
- laparoscopy with targeted biopsy;
- magnetic resonance imaging;
- selective celiaography;
- laboratory blood tests.
The diagnosis of liver cancer should be carried out by an experienced specialist, as it is very important in the diagnosis to differentiate liver cancer from other diseases. In radioisotope scanning, it is necessary to distinguish benign cystic neoplasms and parasitic tumors from a true malignant neoplasm.
Liver cancer treatment
Combined methods are used to treat liver cancer. Currently, the most effective method is still a radical operation. Surgical intervention is divided into typical lobectomy, hemihepatectomy, or atypical resection. It should be borne in mind that a radical operation can be performed only in one patient out of five. Therefore, chemoembolization of the arteries supplying a malignant neoplasm is increasingly used.Chemicals such as methotrexate, 5-fluorouracil, or TIO-TEF are administered locally through the hepatic or umbilical artery. In addition, radiofrequency ablation is often used for all patients waiting in line for a liver transplant. It is a liver transplant - the gold standard for cancer treatment.
The prognosis for patients with liver cancer is disappointing. Even a complete treatment does not guarantee that the patient will live a long and happy life. 30% of patients live no more than three years. The life of 70% ends in a few months, since the liver ceases to perform its main function, which inevitably leads to disruption of the work of all vital organs.
It is rational to carry out a liver transplant only in those patients in whom the initial liver cancer and extensive metastases are not detected. A successful operation is a guarantee of recovery.
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