Presse Santé

Liver cancer: the signs and symptoms that should alert you

Detect liver cancer early

Generally, the Liver cancer it is installed in two different ways. First, when the liver is already weakened by a cirrhosis alcoholic or have hepatitis viral. The disease is diagnosed in most cases during routine medical follow-up. On the other hand, it is possible for a perfectly healthy person to fall victim to this disease. So it is more difficult to detect the symptom, because they appear late and do not always correspond to the manifestation of cancer. Only carrying out a series of explorations will allow a reliable diagnosis to be made. The diagnosis of the disease, in particular the cancer and the state of the liver, is necessary to be able to administer the treatment the most appropriate.

What are the circumstances that can lead to suspicion of liver cancer?

We will see here the two previous possibilities, that is, the case of people who already have a problem in the affected organ, the liver, and those who are unharmed.

For someone with a chronic illness.

In this case, the Liver cancer it is usually diagnosed during a test to monitor for liver disease. patients with cirrhosis alcoholic orhepatitis You will need to have an ultrasound of the organ every 6 months. The objective is to know the evolution of the state of the liver. It is during these tests that it is common to see a suspicious mass.

For an apparently healthy person

It is quite possible that the Liver cancer be asymptomatic for a long time. And even if some symptom appear, such as fatigue or even digestive disorders, it is difficult to identify them related to the disease.

The most common symptoms

However, the doctor may take some signs seriously so that further tests can be done. This is particularly the case when detecting an organ mass. others symptom such as loss of appetite or even nausea, will have to be taken into account. Same for jaundice, also called jaundice, which gives the whites of the eyes, the skin a yellow color. Itching can also appear on the skin, it is pruritus. In addition, ascites or fluid leakage can occur, causing the belly to swell. Finally, in the case of advanced cirrhosis, the patient will be trembling and prone to confusion. These cases may lead the doctor to perform an ultrasound or a blood test. The blood test allows to know how the liver works and the ultrasound to detect nodules. Additional tests will still need to be done to accurately determine if it really is cancer.

How to diagnose liver cancer?

After the ultrasound and the appearance of nodules, a CT scan will be performed to confirm that cancer is the correct diagnosis. In addition, a blood test will be used to measure alpha-fetoprotein, which is the substance in the blood that indicates liver cancer.

Finally, it will be necessary to specify the state of the liver to start the deals adapted and thus avoid any possible future complications.

Photo Credit: Freepik

Risk factor’s

Factors that increase the risk of liver cancer include:

  • Chronic HBV or HCV infection
  • Chronic infection with the hepatitis B virus (HBV) or the hepatitis C virus (HCV) increases the risk of liver cancer.
  • Cirrhosis. This progressive and irreversible condition causes scar tissue to form in the liver and increases the risk of developing liver cancer.
  • Certain hereditary liver diseases. Liver diseases that can increase the risk of liver cancer include hemochromatosis and Wilson’s disease.
  • Diabetes. People with this blood sugar disorder have a higher risk of liver cancer than people without diabetes.
  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. An accumulation of fat in the liver increases the risk of liver cancer.

Exposure to aflatoxins. Aflatoxins are poisons produced by molds that grow on poorly preserved crops. Crops, such as grains and nuts, can be contaminated with aflatoxins, which can end up in foods made from these products.

Excessive alcohol consumption. Drinking more than a moderate amount of alcohol per day for many years can cause irreversible liver damage and increase the risk of liver cancer.

How to prevent the appearance of liver cancer

Reduce your risk of cirrhosis

Cirrhosis is scarring of the liver, which increases the risk of liver cancer. You can reduce your risk of cirrhosis if you:

– Drink alcohol in moderation, if at all. If you choose to drink alcohol, limit the amount you consume. For women, that means no more than one drink a day. For men, that means no more than two drinks a day.

– Keep a healthy weight. If your current weight is healthy, try to maintain it by choosing a healthy diet and exercising most days of the week. If you need to lose weight, reduce the number of calories you eat each day and increase the amount of exercise you get. Try to lose weight slowly – 0.5-1 kilogram per week.

* Presse Santé strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE, the information provided can not replace the advice of a health professional.

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