Liver Cancer and its cause.
Liver Cancer and its cause.
The true incidence and prevalence of liver cancer in India are not known as cancer does not need to be reported in India.
The average incidence of liver cancer is approximately 2 per 100000 population.
The liver does multiple functions and it includes metabolism of different substances, filtration, and synthesis. The liver also performs other important functions, such as removing toxins and other chemical waste products from the blood and excretion. Because the blood from the gastrointestinal tract must pass through it, the liver is unusually accessible to cancer cells traveling in the bloodstream and getting deposited in the liver.
Cancer can arise from the liver itself -primary liver cancer, or cancer can come from other parts of the body and then spreads to the liver called secondary. Most liver cancer is secondary or metastatic, meaning it started elsewhere in the body..
Because the liver is made up of different cells, various types of cancers can form there. Some of these are benign (noncancerous), and some are cancerous and can spread to other parts of the body (metastasize). These tumors have different causes and are treated differently. The outlook for health or recovery depends on what type of tumor you have.
The more common benign tumors of the liver include:
- Hepatic adenoma
- Focal nodular hyperplasia
None of these tumors are treated like liver cancer. They may need to be removed surgically if they cause pain or bleeding.
Liver cancers include:
- Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC)
What Causes Liver Cancer?
Primary liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma) tends to occur in cirrhotic livers.
It can also form in the liver which is damaged by - birth defects, alcohol or infection with hepatitis B and C, hemochromatosis (a hereditary disease associated with too much iron in the liver). More than half of all people diagnosed with primary liver cancer have cirrhosis. Hepatitis B and C and hemochromatosis can cause permanent damage and liver failure. Liver cancer may also be linked to obesity and fatty liver disease.
Various substances are associated with primary liver cancer, including certain herbicides and chemicals such as vinyl chloride and arsenic. Smoking, especially if you abuse alcohol as well, also increases risk. Aflatoxins, cancer-causing substances made by a type of plant mold, have also been implicated. Aflatoxins can contaminate wheat, peanuts, rice, corn, and soybeans. Other causes include the hormones androgen and estrogen and a dye formerly used in medical tests called thorotrast.
Other risk factors for liver cancer may include:
- Your sex. Men are more likely to get hepatocellular carcinoma than women.
- weight. Obesity can increase the risk for hepatocellular carcinoma.
- Anabolic steroid use. Male hormones abused by athletes to increase muscle can slightly increase liver cancer risk with long-term use.
- History of diabetes. Studies have suggested a link between diabetes and liver cancer. This is likely due to the link between diabetes and fatty liver disease.
- Inherited metabolic diseases. Diseases that disrupt the normal metabolism of the body have been shown to increase your risk of liver cancer.
- Rare diseases. Studies have found a link between liver cancer and some rare diseases like alpha -1-antitrypsin deficiency, tyrosinemia, and Wilson's disease