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liver cancer
Liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma) is a cancer that begins in the liver. It is also known as primary liver cancer or hepatoma.

The liver is made up of different cell types such as bile ducts, blood vessels, and fat-storing cells. However, liver cells make up 80% of the liver tissue. This is why the majority of primary liver cancers begin from liver cells and are called hepatocellular cancer or carcinoma.

Many times when patients or physicians speak of liver cancer, they are referring to cancer that has spread to the liver from another organ in the body, such as the colon, stomach, pancreas, breast, and lung. This type of liver cancer is called metastatic liver disease, or secondary liver cancer.
Symptoms may include:
Liver cancer occurs when liver cells begin to grow abnormally. It's not completely understood why this happens, but researchers believe that cancer starts with damage to DNA, the material that contains the instructions for every chemical process in the body, including the rate of cellular growth. DNA damage causes changes in these instructions. One result is that cells may begin to grow out of control and eventually form a tumor, or a mass of malignant cells.

Treatment may include:
  • surgery
  • alcohol injection - pure alcohol is injected directly into tumors through the skin or during an operation. The alcohol dries out the cells of the tumor and eventually the cells die
  • radiofrequency ablation - electric current in the radiofrequency range is used to destroy malignant cells
  • chemoembolization - a type of chemotherapy treatment that supplies strong anti-cancer drugs directly to the liver 
  • cryosurgery or cryotherapy - extreme cold is used to destroy cancer cells
  • radation therapy
  • chemotherapy
  • liver transplantation
  • oncology

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