Hepatic carcinoma is one of the most prevalent types of primary liver cancer. It occurs in most people affected by a chronic liver disease. It is responsible for the highest number of deaths, especially in people affected by liver cirrhosis. Hepatic carcinoma is connected with chronic liver inflammatory diseases. Examples of such disease are hepatitis B and C. Also, consumption of heavy amounts of alcohol increases the risk of having this disease. Other diseases that might lead to the development of Hepatic carcinoma are hemochromatosis and alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency. People affected by these diseases are highly predisposed to having hepatic carcinoma. It’s important to know that not all cancers that affect the liver are referred to as liver cancer. There are some cancers that originate in other parts of the body but metastasizes to the liver. This kind of cancer would not be named liver cancer, but it’d rather bear the name of where it migrated from. For example, cancer that undergoes metastasis from the lung to the liver, would not be named liver cancer, but lung cancer that metastasized to the liver. Cancer that spreads to the liver, are more prevalent than one that originates in the liver cells. The treatment of hepatic carcinoma depends entirely on the size of a tumour, and the kind of a tumour. There are different approaches to treating hepatic carcinoma. Scientists are working on cancer stem cell models. This could lead to the development of drugs in future that people can use. There might even be a chance to buy stem cells online
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Hepatic Carcinoma?
The majority of people affected by Hepatic carcinoma usually don’t present with any symptoms in the initial stages of the disease. However, they start showing symptoms as the disease progresses. Below are some of the common ones;
- Loss of weight: This is also as cachexia. Patients tend to lose a lot of weight. This can be attributed to the fast rate at which the tumor cells are multiplying. These tumor cells proliferate without any control. They tend to use up the available body nutrients that should have been used for normal body growth, thus leading to loss of weight and an increase in the tumor
- Loss of appetite: Patients affected by hepatic carcinoma tend to lose their appetite for food. This is usually as a result of the discomfort and pain caused by the disease.
- Nausea and vomiting: This is one of the initial signs and symptoms that the patient would experience.
- Swelling of the abdomen: Patients tend to have to swell of the abdomen. This is usually due to the accumulation of fluid in the abdomen. Hepatic carcinoma impairs the functions of the liver, one of which is the production of plasma proteins. A reduction in the production of plasma proteins, especially albumin would lead to the accumulation of fluid or ascites in the abdomen.
- Upper abdominal pain: People affected by hepatic carcinoma would feel pain in the abdomen. This pain is usually localized in the upper epigastric area of the abdomen.
- Tiredness: Patients affected with hepatic carcinoma tend to feel tired. They tend to have the chronic fatigue syndrome. The chronic fatigue syndrome can be described as a condition in which an individual feels tired consistently for at least 6 months. The fatigue doesn’t go away even after taking a rest.
- Discoloration of the skin and the sclera: Patients suffering from Hepatic carcinoma tend to have jaundice. This occurs due to the impaired function of the liver. Patients would usually present with yellow skin, and also yellowing of the sclera.
What Are The Causes Of Hepatic Carcinoma?
The exact cause of Hepatic carcinoma isn’t known yet, however, there are some factors that have been identified to contribute to the development of the disease. For example, there are some chronic diseases that contribute to the development of hepatic carcinoma. An example of this is a chronic infection such as Hepatitis B and C. Also genetics plays an important role in the development of hepatic carcinoma. This occurs as a result of DNA mutations, which causes changes in the way the cells act.
What Are the Risk Factors for Hepatic Carcinoma?
Risk factors are conditions that predispose and increases the risk of the development of hepatic carcinoma in people. Below are some of the factors;
- Infection: People affected by chronic infections such as hepatitis B and C have higher chances of developing hepatic carcinoma.
- Diabetes mellitus: Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic condition in which an individual has a problem metabolizing and utilizing glucose, due to insulin insufficiency. People with this metabolic disorder have a higher risk of developing hepatic carcinoma.
- Liver cirrhosis: Liver cirrhosis is a condition in which the liver develops fibrous tissues. These fibrous tissues replace the healthy tissues of the liver. This usually occurs after a long period of the liver Liver cirrhosis is one of the most common causes of hepatic carcinoma.
- Heredity: There are some inherited liver diseases that could increase the risk of developing hepatic carcinoma. Examples of these diseases are hemochromatosis and Wilson’s disease. Hemochromatosis is a condition in which the liver has an excess amount of iron deposit. On the other hand, Wilson’s disease is a condition in which the body has a problem with copper metabolism. This is due to the lack or insufficiency of ceruloplasmin in the liver. The ceruloplasmin is normally produced by the liver. These two diseases increase the risk of having hepatic carcinoma.
- Alcohol: Consuming excessive amounts of alcohol is capable of causing irreversible damages in the liver. This damage increases the risk of having hepatic carcinoma.
How Is Hepatic Carcinoma Currently Treated?
The treatment procedure that would be employed the doctor depends on a number of factors. Some of these factors include the size of a tumor, the stage of cancer, the age of the patient, and also the health status of the patient. Some of the treatment procedures, popularly used include surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy and supportive care for the patients.
Stem cell therapy and Hepatic carcinoma
Scientists are working on cancer stem cell models as a possible way of tumorigenesis. This could lead to the development of drugs that could eliminate this type of cancer in the future.
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Rajaram, R., Subramani, B., Abdullah, B. and Mahadeva, S. (2017). Mesenchymal stem cell therapy for advanced liver cirrhosis: A case report. JGH Open, 1(4), pp.153-155.
Zhang, Z. and Wang, F. (2013). Stem cell therapies for liver failure and cirrhosis. Journal of Hepatology, 59(1), pp.183-185.Stem Cell Therapy And Hepatic Carcinoma