Liver Cancer

“Each Year in the United States about one-hundred and fifty-thousand patients develop cancer of the colon or rectum. Around fifty percent of these patients will either have a cancer that has already spread to the liver or they will come back in future years with metastatic cancer to the liver. ” Liver cancer, or other known as Hepatocellular Carcinoma, is a cancer residing in the liver. There are other cancers like metastatic cancer that starts at other organs then spreads to the liver. Being the third most common cancer in the world, it is also one of the deadliest.

Twenty percent of the patients that are affected by liver cancer survive for a year after diagnosis. Sadly, five percentile of the survivors live for only five years or more. Usually when someone is facing this sickness, a six month survival time is most common. This certain type of cancer is not very common throughout the United States. It’s far more common in areas of Asia and Africa, and is more frequently occurring in men rather than women. No cure for liver cancer exists, but there are many advanced health options available to treat the disease and possibly keep it under control.

There are many different kinds of cancer, but it is very difficult to realize what kind someone has without consulting a doctor of their symptoms. When a body is facing liver Cancer, or metastatic cancer that ends up in the liver, they tend to go through a series of symptoms that can be temporary, last until being treated or last until death. The typical signs of cancer would involve appetite loss, as well as nausea and vomiting and more. liver cancer adds additional symptoms to the already long list.

Other symptoms include pain in the upper abdominal area as well as swelling to that region or area. If a patient is also feeling general weakness and fatigue as well as a yellow discoloration of the skin, this could also be a sign of liver cancer. Most often when facing a cancer illness, as well as other problems such as Leukemia, patients go through a treatment called Chemotherapy. Chemotherapy is a way to help cure the illnesses. Though it doesn’t always fully cure the patient, it does a tremendous amount of help to the best it can.

For example, in a liver cancer victim’s case, the process includes using chemical agents to kill cancer cells. There are many different kinds of drugs, either used alone or with others, in order to best fulfill the removal of the certain cancer cells. Chemotherapy is not the only process of diagnostic procedures done during the lifetime of a liver patient. There are also several other procedures. Some common cancer procedures include X-RAYS, MRI’s, PET Scans, CT Scans, Radiation, and bone marrow biopsies. When facing liver cancer, patients must go through numerous amounts of other tests.

An Angiography test is a test that analyzes the blood vessels that surround the vicinity of the liver. The Angiography test also involves injecting dye into the blood vessels leading to the liver, as well as placing a catheter into the artery in the upper thigh. The Laparoscopy test is performed while the patient is under anesthesia in the operating room. A miniscule camera is guided throughout the abdomen to examine if the tumor has spread throughout the liver or other components of the abdomen. An immense amount of blood tests are also very important during treatment.

Some blood tests that can be performed are the Alpha-Fetoprotein, which is a tumor marker for liver Cancer, and many other tests that determine the number of blood cells, cancer cells, and etcetera. Throughout treatment, there are an abundant amount of obstacles people have to go through in order to obtain a semi healthy cancer lifestyle. When facing liver Cancer, the doctor must understand the stage that the tumor is presently in. There are five stages that are possible answers to what correctly fits the patient. If a liver Cancer sufferer is in stage one, only one tumor is being shown and has not gained access to any blood vessels.

Most of the time, patients who are in stage one can have the tumor surgically removed. During stage two, there might possible still be only one tumor found, or there are several around two inches, but unfortunately it has also gained access to close blood vessels. There are chances of a liver transplant as long as the patient does not have cirrhosis, or is a possibility for the selected patients with stage one, or stage two. If faced with the chance of a liver transplant, the percentile of living five years rises from five percent all the way to thirty to sixty percent.

In stage three there are three different possibilities. One of them is that several tumors are present with one being larger than two inches, or one of the tumors has gained access to a major vein in the liver area. Another possibility is that one of the tumors has invaded a close organ, or has infiltrated the liver’s outer layer. The last option of stage three is that close lymph nodes have been invaded. For the final possible stage of liver cancer, the cancer and tumors have spread to other organs, and or parts of the body.

In this stage, tumors can no longer be surgically removed, and the survival rate is approximately five percent for five years. Unless the cancer is found in an early stage the chances of survival are very minimal and hazardous. Learning that you are diagnosed with liver cancer is a very grief stricken process. There are many ways of coming into terms with being diagnosed with cancer, but each patient has to find their own way of coping, but the doctors, nurses, and medical assistants are here to help you stay aware of your treatments, risks, medicine, etcetera.

As one of the purposes of being a Medical Assistant, you are required to explain and educate your patients as well as support them throughout their journey through treatment and symptoms. In order to sustain a patient’s sanity throughout all of this, the Medical Assistant should converse about many different topics. It is very vital to assure your patient that there are many options to living their life. When talking to a patient, informing them of their illness is very important. It is very important to talk about their treatment options as well as their prognosis.

Explaining the steps of treatment, as well as the blood tests and chemotherapy. There are an immense amount of websites and psychiatrists that could also help with coping. Websites such as National Cancer Institute, Cancer Treatment Centers of America, and the Cancer Hope Network are just a few of the many that can help through the struggle. These three websites, as well as similar websites provide a managing support service, and an encouraging support service. Online chat services are also available if the patient wishes to communicate person to person.

When associating with the family, it is vital to inform them to stay as positive as possible. At the Abramson Cancer Center they hold many different cancers that will inform the patient of what they need to know. Classes such as Nutrition During Cancer Treatment which is a class that helps prepare the family with certain foods that fit the cancer patients illness. The Look Good…Feel Better Workshop is a program of the American Cancer Society that helps give women undergoing cancer treatment the positive messages to show that each individual is equally gorgeous even after chemotherapy and radiation.

Much support is needed in order to help the patient come to terms of their illness and accept it better. Food is very important part as well; the patient must obtain a healthy diet. In order to do so, the patient must consume enough calories even though a symptom of liver cancer is loss of appetite, it is important to eat to stay healthy. Fluids are also a main part of staying healthy. Since bodies are mainly made of liquid, it is important to keep fluids up so the body functions properly. Also, during chemotherapy, a dry mouth is very common, so fluids will help reduce that side effect.

Proteins, vitamins, and minerals are helpful in maintaining your health. During chemotherapy and radiation it is common that the procedures can alter your taste buds, in order to suffice your likings of the food, it would be essential to add flavor so it doesn’t taste so dull. Sports drinks, for example, Gatorade and PowerAde, will boost the phosphate levels as well as mineral intake of the patient. There are many cancer-fighting foods around, as long as you know what the best are. These include high-fiber foods, tea, white meat, and fish.

Inform the patient that they should stay away from fatty foods, like animal and trans fats. They should also avoid red meat as well as alcohol. Being healthy is very important, and is even more important while facing a critical illness, so eating the best foods possible will help tremendously. Cancer is one of the most disastrous illnesses anyone could possibly go through. It takes the lives of millions, and hurts the family and friends of billions. Though the patients might believe that nothing could happen to make their situation get better, the help of friends and family with do a tremendous job.

When given the right foods and information, they will feel very healthy and loved and that is all someone dealing with liver cancer needs and wants. Bibliography Stuart, MD. , Kieth E. “Liver Cancer Symptoms, Causes, Risk Factors, Treatment, and Prevention by MedicineNet. com. ” Hepatocellular Carcinoma (Liver Cancer). Editor – Melissa Stoppler, MD. 17 Nov. 2010. Web. 31 Jan. 2011. . “Liver Cancer: Simple, Easy Guide to Everything about Liver Cancer. ” MamasHealth. com: Simple, Easy to Understand Information about Health. Ed. Brenda. 2010. Web.

31 Jan. 2011. . “What Are the Symptoms of Liver Cancer? ” Liver Cancer Symptoms – What Are the Symptoms of Liver Cancer? LiverCancerSymptoms. org. 2008. Web. 01 Feb. 2011. . Kietzman, Shannon, and Niki Foster. “What Are Symptoms of Liver Cancer? ” WiseGEEK: Clear Answers for Common Questions. 2003-2011. Web. 01 Feb. 2011. . Information & Support Cancer Hope Network http://chn. cancerhopenetwork. org/ Cancer Center http://www. cancercenter. com/ MD Anderson Cancer Center http://www. mdanderson. org/ Penn Cancer http://www. penncancer. org/.

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