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Hepatocellular carcinoma Primary liver cell carcinoma; Tumor - liver; Liver cancer; Cancer - liver Hepatocellular carcinoma is cancer

of the liver. Causes, incidence, and risk factorsHepatocellular carcinoma accounts for most liver cancers. This type of cancer occurs more often in men than women. It is usually seen in people ages 50 - 60. The disease is more common in parts of Africa and Asia than in North or South America and Europe. Hepatocellular carcinoma is not the same as metastatic liver cancer, which starts in another organ (such as the breast or colon) and spreads to the liver. In most cases, the cause of liver cancer is usually scarring of the liver (cirrhosis). Cirrhosis may be caused by: y y Alcohol abuse (the most common cause in the United States) Too much iron in the body (hemochromatosis)

Patients with hepatitis B or C are at risk for liver cancer, even if they do not have cirrhosis. Symptoms y y y Abdominal pain or tenderness, especially in the upper-right part Enlarged abdomen Yellow skin or eyes (jaundice)

Your liver is the largest organ inside your body. It filters harmful substances from the blood, digests fats from food and stores the sugar that your body uses for energy. Primary liver cancer starts in the liver. Metastatic liver cancer starts somewhere else and spreads to your liver. Risk factors for primary liver cancer include y y y y Having hepatitis Having cirrhosis, or scarring of liver Being male Low weight at birth

Symptoms can include a lump or pain on the right side of your abdomen and yellowing of the skin. However, you may not have symptoms and the cancer may not be found until it is advanced. This makes it harder to treat. Treatment options include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy or liver transplantation. Liver cancer or hepatic cancer is properly considered to be a cancer which starts in theliver, as opposed to a cancer which originates in another organ and migrates to the liver, known as a liver metastasis. For a thorough understanding of liver cancer it is important to have an understanding of how the liver functions. The liver is one of the largest organs in the body. It is located below the right lung and under the ribcage. The liver is divided into four lobes: the right lobe, the left lobe, the caudate lobe, and the quadrate lobe. Protein is obtained by the liver from the portal vein, which carries nutrientrich blood from the intestines to the liver. The hepatic artery supplies the liver with blood that is rich in oxygen. Liver cancer thus consists of the presence of malignant hepatic tumors, growths on or in the liver (medical terms pertaining to the liver often start in 'hepato-' or 'hepatic', from the Greek word for liver, h par, stem h pat-). Liver tumors may be discovered on medical imaging, which may occur incidentally to imaging performed for a different disease than the cancer itself, or may present symptomatically, as an abdominal mass, abdominal pain, jaundice, nausea or some other liver dysfunction. Human liver fluke can bring on one of the most fatal forms of liver cancer by secreting granulin, a hormone known to trigger unbridled cell growth. Michael Smout and Alex Loukas from the Queensland Institute of MedicalResearch (QIMR) say they are excited by the discovery which shows that agrowth hormone from a parasite can affect human cells. It has been known that certain proteins secreted by O. viverrini (liver fluke) cause cell growth; however, the identity of the protein was unknown. We also knew that theparasite secreted granulin but we did not know that it could affect the human cells around it, said Loukas. The International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies the human liver fluke as a Group I Carcinogen, meaning that it is a proven cause of cancer of the bile ducts. This discovery leads the way to a better understanding of how this parasitecauses such a devastating form of cancer, said Loukas. In northern Thailand, where the liver fluke is most common, more than seven million people areinfected at

any given time. While less than one percent infected with other carcinogenic pathogens (such as H. pylori and human papilloma virus) develop cancer, as many as 17 percentinfected with O. viverrini could develop cholangiocarcinoma, a fatal form ofliver cancer. Previously, it was thought that cholangiocarcinoma was caused by the physicaldamage brought about by the fluke feeding on cells lining the bile ducts, as well as a diet high in nitrosamines from fermented fish (a native dish of Thailand). It is now thought that the granulin secreted by the parasite is a major contributing factor to developing bile duct cancer, says a QIMR release. The study was conducted by the universities of Queensland, Khon Kaen (Thailand) and George Washington, US. The findings were published in the open-access Public Library of Science Pathogens. Liver cancer can begin in the cells of the liver itself (primary liver cancer) or spread to the liver from other parts of your body (metastastic cancer). The most common form of primary liver cancer is hepatocellular carcinoma, which starts in the cells that filter toxins from your blood. Less often, primary liver cancer can develop in the bile ducts in your liver or in the liver's connective tissue or blood vessels. Hepatocellular carcinoma is one of the most frequently-occurring cancers in the world. It develops most often in people who have liver damage from infection with the hepatitis B or C virus, alcohol use, or fatty liver disease. It can also result from certain environmental factors, genetic diseases such as hereditary hemochromatosis, and from other health conditions, especially obesity and diabetes. Although anyone, including children, can develop hepatocellular carcinoma, men 40 years of age and older are at greatest risk. Symptoms of primary liver cancer, such as unintended weight loss, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, usually don't appear until the disease is quite advanced and harder to treat. When therapy can no longer improve the cancer itself, Mayo physicians offer treatments to help relieve symptoms and improve well-being.