Liver Cancer

Know More About Liver Cancer

The liver is located in the upper right area of the human abdomen, below the diaphragm, and above the stomach. It performs filtration of the blood that converts the substances into simpler forms that could be used in the body with ease. Since all the blood passes through the liver, the liver becomes accessible to the cancer cells that might enter through the bloodstream. The liver can be life-threatening if not treated on time.

It can occur in two ways. Primary Cancer occurs when the site of origination of cancer cells in the liver itself. Secondary Liver Cancer refers to a condition where the disease is spread through metastasis. When the tumor cells reach the liver from other affected areas, it is termed secondary or metastatic cancer.

Causes of liver cancer

  • The reasons behind the development of liver cancer can be various. Birth defects, exposure to infection due to conditions like Hepatitis B and C, and alcohol abuse are common factors leading to cancer.
  • Hereditary conditions like hemochromatosis that involve the presence of iron in excess amounts can also cause liver cancer.
  • Most people with liver cancer can be found dealing with the medical condition of cirrhosis. Further, the liver could undergo permanent damage as well due to hemochromatosis and Hepatitis B and C.
  • Apart from this, obesity and fatty liver can also lead to cancerous situations. Diabetes leading to fluctuating sugar levels has a great risk of liver cancer too.
  • The various liver cells can undergo mutation in the DNA. DNA is responsible for providing instructions to cell proteins. The changes lead to an uncontrollable division of cells and ultimately causes tumor.
  • Exposure to substances like aflatoxins is also a factor in the development of liver cancer. These substances are produced through molds that originate on poorly stocked crops. Grains and nuts are common crops that are vulnerable to this poison and might get transferred into their derived food products.

Types of liver cancer

The various kinds of blood cancer are as follows:

Hepatocellular Carcinoma

It is the most commonly occurring liver cancer that majorly occurs in people dealing with chronic liver diseases. It is a primary malignancy of liver cells. Accumulation of excess fat in the liver and alcohol abuse are also factors that lead to cancer.



This is the type of cancer occurring in the bile duct and one of the rarest forms of cancer. Bile generally helps in the digestion of food or in other words performs emulsification of fat. It is mostly diagnosed when spread to other parts which make the prognosis difficult and poor.



This kind of cancer develops in the lining of blood cells present in the liver. It is a rarely occurring cancer that holds the ability to affect other body organs as well.

Some of the benign tumors of the liver are hepatic adenoma, cysts, hemangioma, lipoma, focal nodular hyperplasia, leiomyoma, and fibroma.

Signs and Symptoms of liver cancer

In the early stages, the symptoms of liver cancer may not be visible or identified. However, the common issues faced are:

  • Upper abdominal pain and loss of appetite
  • Weight loss without any efforts
  • Abdominal swelling along with fatigue and weakness
  • Vomiting, nausea, and jaundice
  • Chalky and white stools can be observed


Chalky and white stools can be observed.

Blood Tests

These are used to know about the levels of certain proteins and cells in the body that reveal the functioning of the liver. Through these tests, any kind of abnormality in the liver can be detected.

Imaging Techniques

The tests like computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and ultrasound can be done to get detailed images of the body organs inside. MRI  uses a magnetic field along with radio waves generated by the computer.

Tissue Sample Collection

The doctors usually collect the samples in the form of liver cells and tissues through a thin needle. The doctors look for the presence of cancer cells if any. The liver biopsy holds the possibility of infection, bleeding, or bruising.

What are the after-effects of such treatments?

  • Immunotherapy may elicit skin reactions like itching, swelling, pain, soreness, rashes, and redness. There could be fever, chills, weakness, headache, troubled breathing, heart palpitations, and others.
  • The patient can feel tired, and nauseous, and may even experience vomiting. There could be appetite changes, hair loss, constipation, infection, and anemia.
  • Radiation therapy can cause skin changes, dry mouth, gum sores, shortness of breath, fatigue, and probably difficulty in swallowing.

Treatments of liver cancer


Certain operations are performed to treat the condition. The doctor may perform surgery to remove the affected area along with some of the surrounding healthy tissue. Other options include liver transplant options that are usually performed when the person is in an early stage.

Targeted Drug Therapy

It involves working on the specific abnormalities present in the cancer cells. This therapy blocks such issues in tumor cells and hence leads to killing them.

Localized Treatments

As the term suggests, the localized treatments are targeted to cancer cells directly and treatment is done. It involves following procedures.

  • Freezing the cancer cellsThis technique is termed cryoablation as the tumor cells are subjected to extreme cold. An instrument cryoprobe filled with liquid nitrogen is inserted into the tumors to destroy them.
  • Direct HeatingAlso known as radiofrequency ablation, thin needles are inserted into the abdomen to reach the tumor, and then an electric current is generated to destroy the cancer cells.
  • Injecting alcohol and chemotherapy drugsGenerally, pure alcohol is injected into the tumors to kill them. Chemoembolization involves injecting the chemicals directly into cancer cells to destroy them.
  • Placing the radiation beadsSmall sphere-like equipment containing radiation is placed at the site so that the radiation keeps on passing into the tumors.


Immunotherapy strengthens the immune system to fight against cancer. Often, the cancer cells produce a protein that blinds the body’s immune system. This therapy blocks this process.

How does Ayurveda help you cope with the disease?

It is a natural system of healing that ensures a healthy lifestyle for people by bringing positive changes in their diets and daily activities. It is an art of healthy living that believes in the general wellness of human beings. It ensures a balance between mind, body, and spirit. It focuses on cleansing the body through its extensive healing ways.

It incorporates yoga and meditation that helps restore energy in the body and rejuvenate. It understands the body’s constitution and works on the main causes of stress and disease. It helps to improve the quality of life. The methods of healing boost the immune system and lower the risk of getting infected in any way.

Appropriate food habits and exercises are promoted to ensure good health. It is helpful in reducing the symptoms and signs of any disease or disorder. It improves digestion, applies therapeutic measures, and builds confidence in an individual as well.