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Liver Cancer

About the Department

The liver is located in the upper right side of your abdomen, just beneath your diaphragm and marginally above your stomach. It is a football sized organ and is the largest internal organ in the body. Made of the cells known as hepatocytes and other unique cells that line its blood vessels and small liver tubes are known as the bile ducts. By extending out of the liver, the bile ducts transport the bile either to the gall bladder or to the intestines. 

The cells that are present in the liver may at times turn into malignant or benign tumours. In the case of a benign tumour, it may possibly enlarge enough to cause some problems but the growth is not large enough to damage tissues located nearby or infiltrate other parts of the body. On the other hand, it the cells turn cancerous or into a malignant tumour, it can lead to primary liver cancer. The most common cause of primary liver cancer is due to cirrhosis – a condition that is the result of alcohol abuse over a significant period of time. 

However, in most cases, liver cancer is the result of secondary cancer, meaning, cancerous cells which has spread into the liver from other organs, for example, the lungs, colon, etc. 

At Fortis Bannerghatta, we have put together a team of experts consisting of specialists in the field of oncology, radiology, pathology, surgery, hepatology in order to provide a 360° approach to patient care. We also have a team of highly skilled pediatric specialists who are adept at dealing with liver cancer cases in children.

Working towards a multidisciplinary outlook, our specialists at Fortis are equipped with the latest technology in medical procedures and non-invasive methods of patient care. Fortis radiologists have access to the latest equipment in modern liver imaging and our team of surgeons have years of skill and knowledge of surgery that is minimally invasive. 

Fortis specialists have the expertise, practice, know-how and means to give you and your family the medical care, guidance and support that will help you to fight this health condition. We will continuously review your case at every stage and work with you towards formulating therapeutic options that is tailored to suit your current health needs. 

Areas of Care

The primary liver cancer occurs when the cancerous cells have formed in the liver. There are multiple types of primary liver cancer.

- Hepatocellular cancer hepatocellular carcinoma
- Bile duct cancer or Cholangiocarcinoma
- Angiosarcoma and hemangiosarcoma
- Hepatoblastoma

Benign tumours in the liver are not cancerous but need some form of treatment and care. The most common ones are:

- Hemangioma
- Hepatic Adenoma
- Focal Nodular Hyperplasia
- Cysts
- Lipoma
- Fibroma
- Leiomyoma

The liver is also at risk of secondary cancers that means that the liver is affected by cancerous cells that have spread from other organs in the body.

Oncology specialists at Fortis Bannerghatta, have cumulative years of experience in treating complex liver cancer cases like hepatocellular carcinoma. The team is always working in the direction of integrating superior clinical service by adding new techniques of treatment and are devoted towards providing exceptional standards of patient care. 

Symptoms & Diagnosis

Signs and Symptoms of Liver Cancers

There are usually no symptoms in the initial stages of liver cancer. You may experience vague signs like tiredness, a temperature, chills and possibly sweating at night. However, there may be eventual signs that you should look out for:

- If you feel constant pain, swelling or a feeling of tenderness in the upper right portion of the abdomen
- If you see that your stool is chalky and white in colour
- If you observe a severe loss of weight over a short span of time
- If you have a loss in appetite
- If you are suffering from jaundice
- If you body itches all over
- If you see that your limbs are swelling 
- If you see that you are bruising and bleeding easily

If the liver cancer has progressed to an advanced stage, you may experience symptoms such as:

- If you feel constant nausea and vomiting
- If you feel tired
- If you are generally feeling weak
- If you facing mental confusion
- If there is a loss in your sex drive
- If your spleen has enlarged and there is discomfort in your abdominal region
- If you see skin lesions developing

Many of these symptoms may also occur if there is a liver disorder. However, it is best to speak to your doctor if you have experienced one or more of these symptoms. Your doctor will prescribe the required diagnostic screenings that will ensure early detection of your health condition. 

Our Diagnostic Services

Depending on the symptoms that you are currently facing, your physician will request you to undergo a series of diagnostic tests to determine if it is liver cancer that you are suffering from. With early detection, treatment of the condition is likely to be more effective. The first round of tests will include:

- Liver Function Test:

This diagnostic screening will reveal the health of your liver by evaluating the levels of proteins, lover enzymes and the amount of bilirubin in your bloodstream.

- Imaging Test:

Using x-rays, the images will help to pinpoint to areas where cancerous cells may have penetrated.

- Ultrasound:

If there are masses of tumour growing in the liver, the ultrasound will help detect that.

- CT Scan:

Presenting detailed cross-sectional images of the body, the CT scan will show images of the abdomen and display if there are any tumourous growth in that region.

- MRI:

The MRI scans are use to differentiate between a benign and a malignant tumour in the liver.

- Angiography:

The Angiography will reveal which arteries are supplying blood to the liver cancer and if the cancer can be removed with surgery.

If the imaging results are not conclusive, the specialist will recommend secondary diagnostic tests like:

- Laparoscopy
- Biopsy
- Alpha-fetaprotein blood (AFP) test
- Blood tests like:

  • Blood clotting test
  • Test for viral hepatitis
  • Complete blood count
  • Blood chemistry tests
  • Kidney function test

Post carrying out these diagnostic screenings, your specialist will review the results and confirm the diagnosis and the stage of the condition that you are in. If you have any concerns whilst these screenings are being carried out, you must discuss them with your specialist.

Treatment Options

The stage of the liver cancer as well as the age of the patient are two key factors that will help the specialist at Fortis, draw up your treatment plan. 

- Surgery: 

- The tumour will be removed through a surgical procedure known as Hepatectomy
- You may have to undergo a liver transplant procedure

- Localised Treatments:

- The cancerous cells undergo a heating process known as Radiofrequency ablation
- Using extreme cold, cancerous cells are destroyed via Cryoablation
- The tumour may be injected with alcohol
- Injecting the liver with chemotherapy drugs
- Tiny beads comprising of radiation in placed in the liver directly

- Chemotherapy
- Radiation Therapy
- Embolization and Chemoembolization
- Targeted Drug Therapy
- Supportive Care

You may be shocked and overwhelmed when you hear the words, “You have liver cancer.” But when you meet our team at Fortis Bannerghatta and they tell you, “We know how to treat this,” is equally comforting feeling. With our extensive scope of services that cares for liver cancer patients, we reassure you that our specialists are committed to providing you with the latest medical and therapy options.

Our Team That Cares

At Fortis Bannerghatta, we bring multispecialty care for our liver cancer patients in a facility that is modern and patient-centric. With a well renowned team of oncologists, advanced practiced nurses, a super skilled surgical team and a devoted support staff is what makes us stand apart from other healthcare providers. 

We understand that fighting cancer is a multistep journey and it will require many visits to our facility over a period of time. That’s why we ensure that we provide you with an environment that makes you always feel welcome whenever you choose to visit us. We only want you to concentrate on getting better. You can leave the rest of your treatment worries to us.