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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Liver Cancer

  1. What is cancer of liver?
  2. Liver Cancer Who's at Risk?
  3. What are the symptoms of liver cancer?
  4. Screening for hepatocellular cancer (HCC)?
  5. What are the diagnosis of liver cancer?
  6. Treatment of liver cancer?
  7. What is advanced cancer?
  8. What is recurrent cancer?
  9. What are side effects of treatment?
  10. How to control the pain?
  11. Support for people with liver cancer.

Cancer of the Liver.
This National Cancer Institute (NCI) booklet has important information about cancer that begins in the liver. It discusses possible causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of liver cancer. It also has information to help patients cope with this disease. Information specialists at the NCI's Cancer Information Service at 1-800-4-CANCER can help people with questions about cancer and can send NCI publications.

Understanding Cancer
Cancer is a group of many related diseases. All cancers begin in cells, the body's basic unit of life. Cells make up tissues, and tissues make up the organs of the body.

Normally, cells grow and divide to form new cells as the body needs them. When cells grow old and die, new cells take their place.

Sometimes, this orderly process goes wrong. New cells form when the body does not need them, or old cells do not die when they should. These extra cells can form a mass of tissue called a growth or tumor. Tumors can be benign or malignant:
  • Benign tumors are not cancer. Usually, doctors can remove them. In most cases, benign tumors do not come back after they are removed. Cells from benign tumors do not spread to tissues around them or to other parts of the body. Most important, benign tumors are rarely a threat to life.
  • Malignant tumors are cancer. They are generally more serious and may be life threatening. Cancer cells can invade and damage nearby tissues and organs. Also, cancer cells can break away from a malignant tumor and enter the bloodstream or the lymphatic system. That is how cancer cells spread from the original cancer (the primary tumor) to form new tumors (secondary tumors) in other organs. The spread of cancer is called metastasis. Different types of cancer tend to spread to different parts of the body.
Most primary liver cancers begin in hepatocytes (liver cells). This type of cancer is called hepatocellular carcinoma or malignant hepatoma.

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