Cancer Of The Liver: Symptoms Of The Deadly Disease
Liver is an organ needed by a body to survive. It helps in a person's metabolism and helps in filtering toxins from entering a person's blood stream. It also produces bile to help in digestion.
The liver has a regenerating capability. It can regenerate damages in itself and heal any damage it has taken. Sometimes, though, there are cases where the liver will not be able to heal itself due to some diseases. Liver cancer is one of them and it is also one of the deadliest diseases known to man.
Cancer of the liver in its infancy stage is difficult to diagnose. Like other cancers, it is mostly known only when the disease has already spread or it has already developed to other parts of the affected organ.
Once the disease has spread, there are several symptoms that will help in diagnosing it.
The most common symptom is pain in the right upper abdominal area of the body. Once a liver becomes enlarged because of any infection, it protrudes the right ribcage which is a nerve-rich area of the body. It can also be painful when trying to probe in that area using one's fingers.
Another symptom of liver cancer is a symptom that is also found in other diseases involving the liver, namely jaundice. Jaundice, or the yellowing of a person's skin and white of the eyes, is caused by the blockage of the bile draining system.
Stools are also lighter, looser and smellier due to poor digestion of fats because of lack of bile production.
There can also be cirrhosis-like (another liver disease) symptoms such as swelling of the breasts in males caused by the liver's failure to break down estrogens from foods. Spider shaped veins are also seen in a person's skin (angiomata) and palms could be very red.
Abdomen may also swell (ascites) due to migration of blood's fluids in the abdomen. The blood's fluids are normally held in the blood vessels but because of the liver's failure a protein needed in doing that is missing.
Blood clotting will also be a problem as it requires intestinal bacteria and the ability of the liver to break down vitamin K from the food taken by a person. This could cause intestinal bleeding and skin bruises.
Loss of appetite is also a possible symptom as the liver is part of a person's digestive system. This would cause considerable weight loss and a person's ability to combat other illnesses to go down.
Please note, though, that only doctors can give accurate diagnosis of liver cancer. Even these doctors would have to do several tests just to be sure and to also make sure that other liver diseases are ruled out.
Doctors might have to do blood tests to look for other symptoms or complications. They would also require x-rays, ultrasound and, if needed, even CT scan and MRI. However these tests would still not accurately diagnose if a person has cancer. The most effective way is to get a piece of it and subjecting it to microscopic scrutiny.
Even then, you are free to look for other opinions from different doctors, although two doctors who make the same tests and makes the same conclusion would probably be correct.
Liver cancer, like any other cancers, can be prevented by living healthy. These include eating healthy food and avoiding alcoholic drinks.