The healthy liver is about 3 pounds weight located right side of the abdomen and positioned below the diaphragm.
A healthy liver performs more than 500 physiological performances to keep itself healthy.
Some of the important liver functions are aiding protein digestion, bile production, blood filtration, waste products removal, mineral storage, immune system functioning, etc.
Maintaining liver health is essential for keeping ourselves healthy.
Following are some steps to keep the liver healthy and prevent liver diseases.
Vaccination against hepatitis is crucial
Repetitive hand washing, especially before eating, after using the toilet, and touching pets are important to restrict germ entrance.
- Limit exposure to toxins like chemicals, reactive materials, and tobacco products.
- Maintenance blood cholesterol levels
- Diabetic patients need to blood glucose level within the normal range
- Stop sharing needles, toothbrushes, razors, or other personal items
- Stop smoking and tobacco product usage
- Balanced healthy diet intake and healthy weight maintenance
- Restricted alcohol intake
- Consult with a doctor before taking medicine. Be cautious before taking over-the-counter products like painkillers.
- Perform sex safely to reduce the risk of contamination of hepatitis and other infections.
Liver cancer starts from liver cells. Different types of liver cancer can occur.
Among them, hepatocellular carcinoma is a common type of liver cancer that involves hepatocytes (Primary liver cells). However, other types of liver cancers like intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma and hepatoblastoma are less common. At this initial stage, liver cancer usually spread within the liver cells. Then it may gradually spread to other organs.
Metastatic liver cancer reaches the liver cells because spreading of colon, lungs, and breast cancer.
In such cancer, the cancer is diagnosed as metastatic colon cancer that spreads from the colon to liver cells.
Liver cancer may be asymptomatic at the initial phase.
But the advancement of liver cancer progression leads to the appearance of different symptoms:
- Unexplained weight reduction
- Abdominal pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Chronic fatigue and malaise
- Abdominal inflammation
- Yellowish skin and white portion of the eyes (jaundice)
- White, chalky stools
Cause of Liver Cancer
Mutation of the DNA in the liver cells causes liver cancer.
DNA present in cells provides the instructions in every chemical processing.
Mutation of DNA leads to changes in the instructions that cause unwanted cellular proliferation. Consequently, tumor formation occurs in the liver cells.
The DNA mutations in the liver cells occur due to chronic hepatitis infections.
However, some unknown causes may initiates DNA mutations in the liver cells.
Liver cancers like hepatocellular carcinoma usually occur because of congenital damage, alcohol abuse, liver cirrhosis, chronic infections like hepatitis B and C, hemochromatosis (a hereditary condition) in which excessive iron deposition in liver tissue.
Alcohol abuse often causes liver cirrhosis because of scarring of the liver cells.
Hemochromatosis and hepatitis infections lead to permanent liver damage and liver failure.
Liver cancer may also have an association with fatty acids and fatty liver diseases.
Various herbicides and chemicals like arsenic, vinyl chloride can cause hepatocellular carcinoma.
Tobacco smoking along with alcohol abuse can increase the risk of liver cancer.
Plant mold-produced aflatoxins contaminate rice, wheat, soybeans peanuts, and corn can trigger liver cancer.
Developed countries like the USA are also facing such issues.
Hormonal therapies like androgen, estrogen and dyes like thorotrast (used previously in medical tests) have been linked with liver cancer.