Liver Cancer Essay

Submitted By SurajMathew1
Words: 807
Pages: 4


Liver cancer or hepatic cancer is a cancer that originates in the liver. Liver cancers are

malignant tumors that grow on the surface or inside the liver.

There are many forms of liver cancer, although many cancers found in the liver are

metastases from other tumors.

The most frequent liver cancer is hepatocellular carcinoma. About 4 of 5 cancers that

start in the liver are this type. HCC can have different growth patterns; some begin as a

single tumor that grows larger. Only late in the disease does it spread to other parts of the

liver. A second type seems to start as many small cancer nodules throughout the liver, not

just a single tumor. This is seen most often in people with cirrhosis and is the most

common pattern seen in the United States.

Risk Factors

A risk factor is anything that affects your chance of getting a disease, such as cancer.

Different cancers have different risk factors. Some risk factors, like smoking, can be

changed. Others, like a person's age or family history, can't be changed.

Hepatocellular carcinoma is much more common in males than in females.

The most common risk factor for liver cancer is chronic infection with hepatitis B virus

or hepatitis C virus. These infections lead to cirrhosis of the liver and are responsible for

making liver cancer the most common cancer in many parts of the world.

In the United States, infection with hepatitis C is the more common cause of HCC, while in Asia and developing countries, hepatitis B is more common. People infected with both

viruses have a very high risk of developing chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis, and liver cancer.

Heavy Alcohol abuse is also a main risk factor and it leads to cirrhosis, Cirrhosis is a

disease in which liver cells become damaged and are replaced by scar tissue. People with

cirrhosis have an increased risk of liver cancer. And most of people who develop liver

cancer already have some evidence of cirrhosis. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, a

condition in which people who consume little or no alcohol develop a fatty liver, is

common in obese people. People with a type of this disease known as non-alcoholic

steatohepatitis might go on to develop cirrhosis. There are several possible causes of

cirrhosis. Most cases in the United States occur in people who abuse alcohol or have

chronic HBV or HCV infections.

Another risk factor is use of anabolic steroids. Anabolic steroids are male hormones used

by some athletes to increase their strength and muscle mass. Long-term anabolic steroid

use can slightly increase the risk of hepatocellular cancer.

And smoking also is a big risk factor, many people believe that smoking is one of main

cause of liver cancer. Although several risk factors for hepatocellular cancer are known,

exactly how these factors cause normal liver cells to become cancerous is only partially


Cancers develop when the DNA of cells is damaged. DNA is the chemical in each of our

cells that makes up the instructions for how our cells function. Some genes have

instructions for controlling when cells grow, divide into new cells, and die, and are called

oncogenes. Genes that slow down cell