Primary liver cancer occurs in livers damaged by birth defects, alcohol abuse, or chronic infection with diseases such as hepatitis B and C, hemochromatosis (a hereditary disease associated with too much iron in the liver), and cirrhosis. More than half of all people diagnosed with primary liver cancer have cirrhosis, a scarring condition of the liver commonly caused by alcohol abuse. Hepatitis B and C and hemochromatosis can cause permanent damage and liver failure. Liver cancer may also be linked to obesity and fatty liver disease.The signs and symptoms depend on what type of cancer is present. Cholangiocarcinoma is associated with sweating, jaundice, abdominal pain, weight loss and liver enlargement.
Hepatocellular carcinoma is associated with abdominal mass, abdominal pain, emesis, anemia, back pain, jaundice, itching, weight loss and fever.Many imaging modalities are used to aid in the diagnosis of primary liver cancer. For HCC these include sonography (ultrasound), computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Tumor markers, chemicals sometimes found in the blood of people with cancer, can be helpful in diagnosing and monitoring the course of liver cancers. High levels of alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) in the blood can be found in many cases of HCC and intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma.Treatment for Hepatocellular carcinoma is Surgical resection which is often the treatment of choice for non-cirrhotic livers.
For Cholangiocarcinoma, Resection is an option in cholangiocarcinoma, but less than 30% of cases of cholangiocarcinoma are resectable at diagnosis. For Hepatoblastoma, Removing the tumor by either surgical resection or liver transplant can be used in the treatment of hepatoblastoma. In some cases surgery can offer a cure. Chemotherapy may be used before and after surgery and transplant.Prevention of cancers can be separated into primary, secondary and tertiary prevention. Primary prevention preemptively reduces exposure to a risk factor for liver cancer. One of the most successful primary liver cancer preventions is vaccination against hepatitis B. Vaccination for hepatitis C virus is currently unavailable. Death Rates Per 100,000 Population for Liver cancer in Australia is 4.35