Liver cancer mortality rates have
more than tripled in the past four decades


What are Liver Cancers?

Liver Cancers are cancers that involve the growth and spread of abnormal cells in the liver. There are several different types of Liver Cancer, all of which possess different characteristics and require a different approach in treatment. The four that we will be taking a closer look at will be Hepatocellular Carcinomas, Bile Duct Cancers, Angiosarcomas and Hemangiosarcomas.

The liver is often noted as being one of the most important organs in the body. It processes substances such as food and drink into valuable energy and nutrients that the body can store for later, and is involved with removing dangerous substances from blood. Liver Cancer interrupts the normal functioning of the liver due to the growth of abnormal cells. Also worth noting is that a large portion of Liver Cancer deaths have been linked to lifestyle factors, something which means that prevention is possible many people.

Let us now take a closer look at each individual type of Liver Cancer in order to grasp an increased understanding of how they impact people everywhere. Below is a chart that details the percentage of Liver Cancer cases that were linked to preventable lifestyle factors. As you can see, a substantial portion of Liver Cancer cases fall under this category.

Linked to Lifestyle Factors
Not Linked to Lifestyle Factors

Hepatocellular Carcinomas

Despite being strangely rare in the United States, Hepatocellular Carcinomas are by far the most common form of Liver Cancer. In fact, they have risen in prominence in recent years to become the third leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide, with well over 500,000 people affected.

In the past, Hepatocellular Carcinomas were extremely difficult to detect, something which meant that diagnosals were often only made once the disease had reached an advanced stage. However, modern screening techniques have made it easier to recognize this disease before it becomes exceedingly dangerous.

The severity of this form of Liver Cancer can often be intimidating. If the tumor cannot be completely removed, it is not uncommon for the disease to prove fatal within 3 to 6 months. That said, early detection and aggressive treatment can go a long way in slowing down or preventing advanced development of the disease.

Bile Duct Cancers

Bile Duct Cancers are a rare form of cancer that starts in the thin tubes that reach from the liver to the small intestine. It is fairly uncommon in the United States, accounting for about only 2,000-3,000 of the 33,000 cases of Liver Cancer that occur there each year. That said, it is much more common in parts of Southeast Asia due to the relative prominence of a parasitic infection that has been linked to causing Bile Duct Cancer.

The disease is largely considered to be quite severe, with 5-year survival rates ranging anywhere from 50 percent to 2 percent depending on when the cancer was discovered and how effective the treatment is. Also worth noting is that the risk of Bile Duct Cancer increases with age, with the majority of cases occuring in people above the age of 70.

Angiosarcomas and Hemangiosarcomas

Angiosarcomas and Hemangiosarcomas are both extremely rare varients of Liver Cancer. Angiosarcoma, for instance, accounts for just 1 percent of all Liver Cancers. That said, it can still be incredibly dangerous. Angiosarcomas are often very difficult to detect, partly because they begin in the blood vessels of the liver. This means that they are usually diagnosed at an advanced stage, something that can limit treatment options.

Hemangiosarcoma is a form of cancer that can sometimes originate in the blood vessels of the liver. While it occurs most often in animals - particularly dogs - the extremely aggressive nature of the disease warrants serious precautions. The symptoms of Hemangiosarcoma can often remain virtually invisible until the disease is in its advanced stages, something which makes early detection very difficult to achieve.

Advancements in Treatment

The past few decades have uncovered tremendous new advancements in medical procedures that have revolutionized the way we comprehend and approach Liver Cancer treatment. Despite this, there is still much progress to be made before this issue can be declared one of the past. We will now underscore some of the successes that have been seen in years past in an effort to promote these advancements and draw attention to the work that remains to be be done.

5-Year Survival Rates by Progression

What do these statistics mean?

From this data, we can see that one of the most important factors in terms of ensuring with that Liver Cancer is managed before it becomes life-threatening is the early detection and removal of the disease. That said, the best form of protection is prevention, something that we fortunately have an increasing understanding of how to achieve. If we are to truly undermine the threat of this disease, advancing our understanding of what actually causes Liver Cancer is essential.

Advancements in Understanding

One of the most powerful tools that has emerged in recent years to fight Liver Cancer is an increased understanding of what causes the disease in the first place. This allows doctors and researchers alike to operate under a set of guidelines that facilitate the early detection and prevention of the disease.

Some of the most impactful risk factors influencing Liver Cancer cases are unfortunately beyond human control. These include things like gender and suffering from certain blood sugar disorders.

However, there do exist lifestyle factors that can drastically increase an individual's chance of contracting Liver Cancer. Excessive alcohol consumption, for instance, has been linked to Liver Cancer as it can cause irreversible liver damage as well as many other health problems. A similar link has been identified between obesity and Liver Cancer. It is through this understanding of the risk factors we are able to allow people to be proactive in their stand against Liver Cancer.

Advancements in Surgery

Recent discoveries have done much to allow researchers to explore new varients of traditional surgery in their efforts to boost the survival rates of Liver Cancer patients. These surgeries options to individuals who may have none, something that effectively enhancing the comfort and health of those suffering from this disease.

One such surgery is Laparoscopic Surgery, a practice in which operations are performed far from the location of the tumor through a series of relatively small incisions. This is beneficial because it involves less blood loss, less pain, and a faster recovery after the initial surgery. While it is still considered to be experimental, Laparoscopic Surgery and procedures like it serve as beacons of innovation in the field of Liver Cancer research.

These surgeries are supplemented by the emerging practice of adjuvant therapies - treatments given immediately after surgery - to boost survival rates for Liver Cancer patients. While the results so far have been inconclusive, many are excited about the future of these drugs. Radioembolization, for instance, has seen some success in smaller trial groups, although the repetition of this same success in larger trials is necessary to determine it to be an effective solution.

How to Help

Liver Cancer has proven itself to be one of the most dangerous diseases currently active in our world today. Just one subset of Liver Cancer, Hepatocellular Carcinoma, has risen in prominence over the past decade to become the third leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide. However, many organizations have made it their mission to halt the advance of this terrible disease, and have taken significant steps towards achieving this ambitious goal. All of the options below are valuable resources with which to take an active stance against Liver Cancers.

The Foundation for Liver Research

The Foundation for Liver Research has been operating on the front lines of the fight against liver disease for over 3 decades now. They have committed themselves completely to funding ground-breaking research programs as well as providing laboratory space for the scientists who make such research possible.

The research made possible by those who donate is extensive and well documented. At the time of writing, they are involved in projects that involve 8 different areas of liver disease. It is through research such as this that a meaningful advance against Liver Cancer and diseases like it can be made. You can help them achieve this tremendous goal by clicking the button below to donate.


The Liver Cancer Research Fund

The Liver Cancer Research Fund has spent the past few years maintaining the fight against Liver Cancer. They work with a best in class team of experts to push the currently established limits of medical knowledge through innovative clinical research.

The fund has seen a massive boost in demand over the past few years, something that they have handled with ease. In 2010 alone they assisted over 3,000 patients through their Liver Tumor Clinic, and treated 400 patients with a Liver Cancer related operation. They are pioneering new surgery techniques that provide patients with less painful procedures and shorter recovery times. You can help them with this honorable mission by clicking the button below to donate.


Fight At No Cost

The internet has made it possible to join the fight against Liver Cancers without spending a single penny. This is the power of word of mouth, the power of sharing our thoughts and ideas to make a change. You can click on the buttons below to get started. Spread the word!

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