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About Your Liver : Liver Cancer can be cured

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Yes, thats true! Liver cancer can be cured provided it is detected early and treated at a specialist liver centre by experts.

Lets find out a little bit more about it.

Liver cancer or HCC usually occurs in Hepatitis B virus disease of the liver of any stage, or with chronic liver disease, also called cirrhosis. Apart from Hepatitis B, cirrhosis can be caused by Hepatitis C virus, alcohol abuse, fatty liver disease or NAFLD, autoimmune disease and other rare causes.

That is why everyone infected with Hepatitis B or having cirrhosis of liver should undergo regular blood test called alfa-feto protein, or AFP for short, and an ultrasound scan of the liver every 6 months. In addition, a CT scan of the liver should also be done every 12 months.

HCC does not cause any specific symptoms or obvious problems except in advanced stages. Therefore, as I have suggested earlier, regular screening with scans is essential to detect it in early stages.

When detected, HCC should be immediately treated at a specialized Liver Centre where a multidisciplinary team of liver surgeons, hepatologists, interventional and diagnostic liver radiologists, pathologists and liver oncologists are available.

One basic rule is that since Hepatitis B and cirrhosis are the root causes of liver cancer, it can be permanently cured only if these conditions are cured. Hepatitis B before the cirrhosis stage can be treated with antiviral drugs. Once cirrhosis develops from hepatitis B or any other cause, a liver transplant is needed for a definite cure…..

Let’s see how various stages of HCC tumor (x2) should be managed. As per the international Liver Cancer guidelines and the Medanta Liver Institute protocol, a single HCC less than 2 cm can be treated with radiofrequency ablation. If there are more than one tumor, or if the single tumor is larger than 2 cm, and the tumor is confined to the liver and has not invaded the liver blood vessels, some form of liver surgery is needed. If the tumor or tumors are confined to one side of the liver and the liver function is good, removal of that side of the liver called liver resection is possible. While the immediate success rates of liver resection are excellent, the tumor usually comes back in another area of the liver in 60-80% of cases over 3-5 years. In case the tumor is on both sides of the liver, or if the liver function is not good as happens in the 2nd and 3rd stages of cirrhosis, a liver transplant can cure the cancer. In the best centres of the world including Medanta, the success rates of liver transplant for HCC are 95%, and chances of long-term tumor recurrence are only about 10-20%.

In some advanced HCC cases where a liver transplant is not feasible, a transarterial chemoembolisation called TACE, or radioembolisation – called TARE can give significant relief from the cancer, and improve the patient’s quality and longevity.

To find out more, or for an appointment, you can log on to www.livertransplantindia.com or write to me on absoin@gmail.com, or call us on +919717772222 / +918800267222 / +919999282222.

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Contact us
Dr. A. S. Soin, Chairman
Medanta Institute of Liver Transplantation and Regenerative Medicine, Medanta
The Medicity, Sector 38, Gurgaon,
Haryana 122001, India.
Office Tel : +91- 124-4855-222, +0124-4855-444
Fax :
+91- 124 4834111
Cell Phone : +91-88002 76222, 99992 82222, 88002 67222