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How Liver Cancer Affects The Liver

1535 words - 6 pages

This report will discuss how liver cancer affects the liver. I will discuss the how liver cancer affects the normal operation of the liver, what causes liver cancer, how this cancer can be detected and how this cancer can be treated. I will conclude with a discussion of how common liver cancer is.
The liver is a vital organ which has multiple functions to keep the body operating normally. The liver stores vitamins, sugar and iron to help give the human body energy. It controls the production and removal of cholesterol and clears the blood of waste products, drugs and other toxins. Furthermore, the liver makes clotting factors to prevent excessive bleeding after cuts or injuries. The liver produces immune factors and clears away bacteria from the bloodstream to fight infection. It also releases a substance referred to as "bile" in order to help digest food and absorb essential nutrients for the body. The liver is located just below the diaphragm, in the upper right portion of the abdomen, generally under the ribs. Though, it also spreads across the middle and left area of the upper abdomen.
A tumour is a lump/growth of tissue made up by cancer cells which continue to reproduce. Since the liver is made up of several different kinds of cells, numerous types of tumors can form in the organ. If not treated, these tumours may grow, attack and damage nearby tissues, and continue to spread to other organs. As the tumors grow, they could cause pain and bleeding inside the liver. The liver’s functions may also become impaired and eventually the liver could fail.

Although the sources of liver cancer are still unknown, there are some known risk factors. Viral infections of the liver, such as chronic Hepatitis B or C, may cause liver cancer. Some kinds of hereditary liver diseases can also lead to cancer development later on in a person’s life. Cirrhosis, the development of scar tissue in the liver, can often result in liver cancer. Additionally, some environmental factors, such as exposure to particular chemicals or eating food contaminated with aflatoxin, a toxin produced by mold on nuts and grains, may raise the risk of cancer. Excessive alcohol and tobacco usage is associated with developing cirrhosis and liver cancer as well. Obesity and diabetes are also risk factors in developing liver cancer. A person can lower their risk of liver cancer by avoiding and treating hepatitis infections, limiting their alcohol and tobacco use and avoiding obesity. Moreover, a person should control their exposure to cancer causing chemicals and make healthy food choices. A person should also treat any inherited liver diseases that could increase their risk of cancer.

Liver cancer usually does not have any symptoms in its early stages and can be difficult to detect. Nevertheless, liver cancer can be detected by imaging tests. Some of the tests used to diagnose liver cancer are Ultrasound, Computed tomography (CT scan), Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI scan),...

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