Metastasis of Liver: Stay Alert to prevent Secondary Liver Cancer

Apr 7 02:00 2022 Jeffery Reynolds Print This Article

Metastasis of the liver is a type of cancer that does not originate in the liver. When the cancerous cells spread to the largest internal organ, it is called liver metastasis or secondary liver cancer. Learn the symptoms when cancer metastasizes to the liver and how an experienced liver cancer specialist can help you with the treatment.

Being the largest internal organ,Guest Posting the liver plays an essential role in maintaining your body and keeping you healthy. Although it can regenerate itself, we cannot ignore the health of the liver. It is impossible to live without a functioning liver. Did you know liver cancer is one of the deadliest diseases in the world today? Even in our country, we are witnessing growing casualties related to liver cancer.

The problem with liver cancer or any other type of GI cancer is the late manifestation of symptoms. If you do not undergo routine medical checkups at your gastroenterologist, cancer may spread to other organs and prove to be a fatality in extreme cases. Metastatic liver cancer is such cancer.

In contrast to primary liver cancers including hepatocellular carcinoma or hepatoblastoma, metastatic liver cancer does not originate in the organ. It means that the cancer cells originated outside of the liver, but they metastasized (spread) to the liver because of a lack of medical attention and timely treatment. It is for the same reason liver cancer specialists call it "secondary liver cancer,” “liver metastases,” and “stage IV or advanced cancer.”

Often, 70% of colon cancer or rectal cancer metastasizes to the liver. One of the primary reasons for the metastasis is the portal vein. It connects the blood supply from the intestines to the liver. Other types of cancers as breast cancer, cancer of the esophagus, stomach cancer, pancreatic cancer, skin cancer, etc., can lead to metastasis of the liver.

Are there any Symptoms of Secondary Liver Cancer?

As liver metastasis does not begin in liver cells, it is difficult to look for symptoms in the earlier stages of the disease. However, if cancer metastasizes to the liver, you may experience the following signs:

>> Abdominal discomfort

>> Pain in the upper right abdomen

>> Bloating and itching

>> Weakness and fatigue

>> Loss of appetite

>> Unintentional weight loss

>> Jaundice

>> Enlarged liver

>> Nausea, vomiting, and fever

>> Edema/swelling of legs

>> Dark-colored urine

If you see consistent vomiting, blood in vomit or stools, swelling in the legs or the abdominal region, or jaundice, consult an experienced liver cancer specialist immediately. It is essential for patients with a history of GI cancer.

How will the Liver Cancer Surgeon diagnose Metastasis of the Liver?

If you have a history of GI cancer or notice symptoms of GI troubles quite frequently, you must visit a surgical gastroenterologist/liver cancer specialist for routine checkups. If the doctor identifies enlargement of the liver, he may suspect a metastasis of the liver and ask you to undergo the following tests to confirm the diagnosis:

a. Liver function tests help in understanding how your liver is functioning. With the help of alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) levels, the doctor will identify whether the cancer is primary or secondary liver cancer.

b. An abdominal CT scan will provide images of the liver and help the liver cancer specialist to identify cancerous cells.

c. A liver ultrasound test will use high-frequency sound waves to understand the liver tissues in detail.

d. An MRI (Magnetic Reasoning Imaging) provides clear images of the liver with the help of radio waves and a magnet.

e. The liver cancer doctor can also use an angiogram to learn more about the soft tissues of the organ. He may even use laparoscopy as a diagnostic tool to confirm the presence of metastasis of the liver.

What is the Treatment for Metastasis of Liver?

Doctors call the disease Type IV cancer because curative surgeries are rarely possible. However, in selected cases of secondary liver cancer caused due to colorectal cancer, neuroendocrine cancer or certain other types of cancer, a curative liver resection surgery can help the patient.

The liver cancer surgeon may also recommend palliative surgeries and treatments to control the symptoms and help patients live as healthy as possible. The doctor will consider the following factors before suggesting possible surgery options:

1. Patient’s age and health

2. Patient’s past medical history

3. The size of the metastatic tumor

4. The spread of the primary cancer

Chemotherapy and targeted therapy can be a possible course of treatment to slow the growth of the cancerous tumor. There is also a therapy called radiofrequency ablation that generates heat to destroy the cancer cells in the liver.

Routine Medical Checkups is the Key

Once cancer has metastasized to the organ, there is often no cure. Doctors can help you to increase your life expectancy and offer palliative solutions. However, the best prevention against secondary liver cancer or any GI cancer is timely treatment. If we can avoid the metastasis of cancer in the first place, we can ensure a long and healthy life for ourselves.

So, the key to good health is routine medical checkups. Consult your surgical gastroenterologist and learn how you can keep the liver healthy and avoid secondary liver cancer. Avoid alcohol consumption, lead an active life and ensure a balanced diet to keep liver problems at bay.

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Jeffery Reynolds
Jeffery Reynolds

For treating secondary liver cancer, consult the best liver surgeon of Surat. Book an appointment for liver metastasis treatment to relieve symptoms effectively.

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