A liver transplant surgery is a procedure by the virtue of which the doctors remove the liver in that cases where it becomes non-functional or does not function appropriately. In this process, the malfunctioning liver is substituted with the healthy liver obtained from a living donor.
Liver transplant surgery has been performed in the medicine for more than 30 years and it has been observed that this surgery is successful and the patients who undergo liver transplant are able to live healthy lives.
Liver transplant is usually performed in the cases where the liver failure could not be treated by other alternative medical treatments available and cancerous conditions. There can be either acute liver failure or chronic liver failure. The Liver transplantation is more often performed in order to treat the chronic ailments.
Cholangiocarcinoma (Bile duct cancer), like any other cancer, leaves a person physically, mentally and emotionally drained. It has been mostly found to affect people above 60 years of age. The signs and symptoms associated are so common that very few people consult a physician. A delayed diagnosis implies delayed treatment. This goes on to aggravate and complicate the situation further. One needs to be a little alert. Any symptoms, no matter how common, should not be taken lightly. Look for the early signs and symptoms and bile duct cancer can be fully cured.
Signs and symptoms associated with Cholangiocarcinoma
Bile duct cancer can be Extrahepatic (occurs in the duct outside the liver) or Intrahepatic (cancer develops within the smaller ducts inside the liver). It must be noted that Intrahepatic Bile duct cancer and Liver cancer are different.
- Bile duct cancer results in blocking the bile duct. This blockage severely effects the secretion of bilirubin and bile from the liver. Thus, the secretions (bile and bilirubin) which are supposed to flow into the intestine move back into the bloodstream. An elevated level of bilirubin in the blood gives rise to a condition, known as Jaundice (a condition resulting in yellowing of the eyes and the skin). The problem lies in the fact that many other factors can equally contribute to Jaundice. Consulting a physician at the earliest is the best resort.
- A sudden or drastic weight loss and loss of appetite is an alarming sign of Cholangiocarcinoma.
- Excessive itching can be an indication of something as big as bile duct cancer. Itching can be an outcome of the increased bilirubin (blood) reaching the skin.
- At an advanced stage of Cholangiocarcinoma, a patient may experience severe abdominal pain.
- At times, the tumour in the bile duct might exert immense pressure on the nearby organs. This can give rise to an enlarged abdominal mass. Bloated feeling is also very common amongst the patients.
- An unusual change in the colour of the stool and urine should not be neglected. The elevated bilirubin level from the intestine is usually eliminated out of the system through the urine. Thus the stool appears lighter and the urine a shade darker.
- A cholangiocarcinoma patient can, at times feel nauseated. Fever is also a common but an extremely important indication.
Bile duct cancer or cholangiocarcinoma can lead to many other complications.
Why and when to do liver cancer test?
The liver is a pyramid-shaped organ in our body that lies just below the right lung. It is the largest organ inside the human body. This vital organ is divided into right and left lobes and performs a number of functions. It makes bile necessary to digest fat, makes various proteins used by the body for a number of other purposes, breaks down toxic materials in the blood that are later removed by the body as waste, helps in blood clotting and stores certain nutrients absorbed from the intestine. Thus liver is primary to the healthy functioning of the human body. Liver cancer test in India when cancerous cells form in the liver, it is known as liver cancer. Primary liver cancer is cancer that starts in the liver tissue; whereas cancer that starts in some other site and spreads to the liver is classified as the secondary liver cancer. Varied methods & techniques are available to treat liver cancer.
Diagnosis: After examining your health and learning about family history, your doctor may tell you to go for one or more of the following tests for diagnosing liver cancer:
Liver cancer does not have any symptoms, of its own. However, the tumor causes some symptoms and these symptoms appear in the later stages of cancer. Sometimes these symptoms may show up in the early stages also. The common symptoms are mentioned below:
Symptoms of liver cancer sometimes some tumors in the liver build hormones that influence other organs. These hormones may cause certain signs like low blood sugar levels, high cholesterols levels, enlarged breasts, high counts of red blood cells and high levels of calcium in the blood. If you have any of the symptoms at any stage of your life, you must consult your doctor right away to avoid unnecessary complications.
The stages of liver cancer tell the doctor how far cancer has spread. Once the stage is determined, individualized treatment plans can be designed. There are different staging systems for this cancer, but all doctors across the globe do not follow the same system. The American joint committee on cancer (ajcc) is the commonly accepted method for staging liver cancer. According to this system, the stages can be evaluated on the basis of three main factors like:
Besides these, the letter x and a number (0-4) are also assigned to these factors. For instance, t1, t2, t3 and so on; a higher number refers to increasing severity. And the letter x indicates that no information could be gathered. Liver-cancer-stages-medifee
Usually, the size and number of the tumor (s) and whether cancer has spread to blood vessels or lymph nodes are the important criteria for staging liver cancer. Here a brief description of the 4 stages of liver cancer is described:
Stage 1: In stage 1, there is only one tumor and there is no growth of cancerous cells in the blood vessels, any other organs of the body or lymph nodes.
Stage 2: In this stage, there is a single tumor and it has started growing into the blood vessels. Again there may also be more than one tumor which is less than 5cm and have not grown into the blood vessels. In either of the case, cancer may be described to be in stage 2.
Stage 3: In this stage, 3 things can happen. Stage 3a refers to more than a single tumor and at least one of them is larger than 5 cm. But the cancerous cells have not grown in the lymph nodes or any other part of the body. Stage 3b refers to cancer that has grown either into the portal vein or hepatic vein. Again, there is no growth of cancerous cells in any part of the body or lymph nodes. Stage 3c describes the stage where cancer has spread into organs of the body that are close to the liver, like pancreas but not to lymph nodes or any distant organs.
Stage 4: Stage 4a refers to the phase where there can be more than one tumor of any size in the liver. Also, the cancerous cells may have spread to other organs around the liver and also blood vessels. Cancer has spread to lymph nodes but not to other body parts. Stage 4b is the phase when cancer has spread to another part of the body. The tumor is any size and may be more than one. It may have spread to the blood vessels and other organs around the liver. There may or may not be any presence of cancerous cells into the lymph nodes.
Doctors may follow any of the two staging criteria mentioned above or even go for some other staging processes.
Screening is used to look for cancer before you have any symptoms or signs.If you know you have risk factors for liver cancer such as cirrhosis most commonly caused by alcohol abuse, other causes are Obesity, NAFLD, and diabetes, viral hepatitis (types B and C), too much iron in the liver from a disease called hemochromatosis, and some other rare types of chronic liver disease,then it is extremely important to talk with your doctor about whether you should be regularly screened for liver cancer.Finding a cancer before any symptoms have developed will increase the chance of successful treatment, Screening options include testing the blood for a substance called alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), which may be produced by cancer cells, or having imaging tests like an ultrasound.
The liver has a significant role to play in metabolism and digestion. The failure of a liver can lead to significant health issues. There are some causes for liver failure, which cannot be treated with medications. In these people, a transplant, which is replacing the diseased or injured liver with another liver, is the only definitive treatment option.
Some conditions which can require a liver transplant are:
Types of transplant:
While the concept of a transplant sounds quite convincing and appealing for those with a severe liver disease, it is also important to note that not all would qualify for a liver transplant. The conditions which would disqualify a recipient are discussed below:
A detailed liver recipient evaluation assessing the severity of liver disease, chances of survival, and overall health are done before a person is listed for liver transplant. This evaluation ensures a better success rate with the transplant.