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Tumors Tips

Liver Tumours - How Lethal Are They?

Dr. Suddhasattwa Sen 93% (10 ratings)
MBBS (Gold Medalist), MS- General Surgery (Gold Medalist), DNB - General Surgery (Gold Medalist), DNB - GI surgery, Fellow Minimal Access Surgeon, Fellowship in Hepato Biliary, Pancreatic Surgery & Liver Transplantation, MRCS
Gastroenterologist, Kolkata
Liver Tumours - How Lethal Are They?

The liver is the engine of the human body. It is basically composed of 2 types of cells (a cell is the basic building block of the human body) – hepatocytes (liver cells) and cholangiocytes (bile duct cells). It also has other supporting tissue and their respective cells. The hepatocytes are by far the most numerous cell type, not surprisingly tumours (otherwise called mass or lump. “Tumor” means lump in Latin), of this cell form the majority of abnormal growths in the liver. Abnormal growths can be benign (that is, they do not grow rapidly, spread to other parts of the organ or to other parts of the body) or malignant (grow rapidly, spread to other parts of the organ and to other parts of the body, i.e. cancer). These abnormal growths from liver cells are Focal nodular hyperplasia (FNH), Adenomas (the benign variety) and hepatocellular cancer (otherwise called Hepatoma/HCC, the cancerous type). What we need to recognize is that certain adenomas can turn into HCC, over a period of time. The other type of growths in the liver are those that have originated elsewhere in the body and spread to the liver, for example a growth of the breast spreading to the liver. These are in fact the commonest tumours of the liver. I will discuss these at a later date.

Benign growths of the liver

Common benign growths are Haemangiomas, FNH and Adenoma. Most of these are identified when a scan is performed as investigation for some other problem. Accurate diagnosis of the nature of these lumps is important to determine the type of treatment needed. This can be ascertained by a carefully selected scan like an Ultrasound, CT scan or an MRI. The technology of these scans is continuing to evolve and get better year on year. There are different types of Ultrasound, CT and MRI scans with different applications, based on whether contrast is used or not, the different phases of scanning, the type of MRI scanning sequence etc. Therefore, these scans although commonly available and used very frequently, need to be performed under the supervision of a team involving Liver doctors and radiologist who is well versed in the diagnosis of liver lumps, for accurate diagnosis without the need for unnecessary tests (Box 1).

Haemangiomas are by far the commonest. It is estimated that 5% of the adult population harbor this lump in their livers! They occur in both sexes and at all ages but are commonest between 30 to 50 years in women. Most of them are small, less than 4-5 cms in diameter and are are identified on Ultrasound. MRI and its various applications is the scan of choice for accurate diagnosis. This is crucial as most of them do not need treatment.

Focal Nodular Hyperplasia (FNH) are the second most common liver lumps. They are usually single and small (less than 4 cms) and occur in women between 35 – 50 years of age. About 2.5-3% of population harbor this lump in their livers. Special MRI techniques using special contrast agents is diagnostic and the findings are quite distinct from haemangiomas. Again treatment is not recommended apart from selected circumstances. Assessment in a dedicated Liver team is recommended for accurate diagnosis and a proper management plan to be formulated.

Hepatic adenomas (Hepatocellular adenoma, HCA) are rare lumps and occur in 0.2 to 0.3% of the population, again occurring mostly in young women during their reproductive period. They are again solitary and most usually 3-4 ms in diameter.

There are a couple characteristics which make this lump different from the previous 2, there is a strong relation between hormones the development of HCA and some of these HCA can turn into the malignant Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Therefore, accurate characterization and diagnosis of these HCA is essential. Sometimes biopsy of the lump, molecular and genetic tests maybe necessary to determine if the HCA has a high chance of progressing to HCC. Imaging tests are generally adequate, contrast MRI Liver and its different techniques is accurate in diagnosing HCA and sub-typing it, however CT and contrast-enhanced Ultrasound is sometimes necessary along with MRI.

Generally, a HCA in a male is recommended for surgical resection. While in women, discontinuation of the OCP pill/ any other such hormone is recommended for a period of 6 months, if the HCA does not have any worrying features and size is less than 5 cms. IF HCA is larger than 5 cms and has features suggestive of a high risk for change to HCC, surgery is advised. Again these decisions have to be made as a part of a Multi-disciplinary team (Box 1)

Malignant growths beginning within the Liver

As mentioned earlier, usually malignant growths which are seen in the liver spread to it from elsewhere in the body. Hepatocellular cancer/Hepatoma (HCC) is the commonest malignant tumour beginning within the liver, as apposed to those that spread to the liver from elsewhere. It occurs between 40-70 years of age and occurs commonly in men. It is estimated that 17000 new patients develop this tumour every year in India. The vast majority (> 80%) of these develop in patients who have chronic liver disease (cirrhosis). Importantly the number of HCC cases is increasing year on year as cirrhosis due to fatty liver disease, Hepatitis B (3% of Indian population carry this virus, ie nearly 40 million individuals) and alcohol are continuing to increase in India. Nearly overall it is the 4th or 5th most common cause of cancer and the second most common cause of cancer-related death. This is continuing to increase too. We do not have a national policy in India to screen and diagnose these lumps in the liver at an early stage. Most patients present at a late stage when effective treatment is not possible.

Hepatitis B is a vaccine-preventable disease, there are good drugs to treat it and decrease the risk of cirrhosis and HCC in HBV patients, therefore it is important to test for this virus infection. The fatty liver disease can cause chronic liver damage and HCC, regular exercise and consuming a balanced diet can reduce the risk of fatty liver disease.

The usual mode of detection of these growths is when a scan is done for some other reason. Occasionally patients can develop pain in the abdomen or jaundice which leads to an investigation. The treatment of HCC depends on the extent of tumour, the extent of the chronic liver disease (the stage of cirrhosis) and the overall condition of the patient. These patients are best seen, assessed and treated in a team (Box 1) which specializes in the treatment of Liver disease.

The best treatment for HCC is surgery. However, this is suitable only for certain carefully selected patients. This can take the form of liver resection (where a portion of the liver with tumour is removed) or liver transplantation (where the whole liver is removed and a donated liver (full or partial) is replaced into the patient. Indeed surgical has excellent survival rates; more than 75% of patients survive for more than 5 years after resection or transplantation making treatment for these cancers one of the most satisfactory.

Other treatments which can be combined with surgery in selected patients or can be combined with patients not suitable for surgery are different types of Interventional radiological therapy – chemotherapy or radiotherapy delivered through fine catheters introduced into the blood vessels of the liver (TACE: Transarterial chemotherapy, TARE: Transarterial radiotherapy) and or heat energy delivered to the tumour area by means of carefully placed needles/probes (RFA: radiofrequency ablation, MWA: microwave ablation).

HCC is unique cancer as its treatment should be tailored to the patient, the treatments are varied and range from catheter-based non-invasive treatment to major surgery and transplantation. This necessitates that HCC patients are best managed in a multidisciplinary team which is highly skilled in and specializes in the management of liver diseases.

Box 1: A liver tumour multidisciplinary team – Integrated Liver Care team

  • The team should be one with expertise in the management of benign liver lesions and should include a Hepatologist, a Hepatobiliary & Transplant surgeon, Diagnostic and Interventional radiologists, Medical oncologist and a Pathologist.

  • Each member of the team must hold specific and relevant training, expertise and experience relevant to the management of benign liver lesions.

  • The team should be one with the skills required not only to appropriately manage these patients but also to manage the rare but known complications of diagnostic or therapeutic interventions.

1750 people found this helpful

Biopsy & Tumor - Is It Related?

MS - General Surgery, MBBS
General Surgeon, Thane
Biopsy & Tumor - Is It Related?

A tumor may be defined as an abnormal unwanted growth of tissue in any part of the body. This word need not immediately cause panic because the tumor may or may not cause a health threat. There are three types of tumors:

  1. Benign tumor: This is a noncancerous type of tumor. In our body, new cells are formed while the old ones called dead ones are disposed by our immune system. When this disposal of cells does not occur, the remaining dead cells form a lump, which is called a benign tumor. They are not dangerous since they do not contain harmful fluids and do not spread. A person suffering from a benign tumor in the brain may have frequent headaches.
  2. Pre-malignant tumor: It is an initial disorder or an earlier symptom of cancer manifestation. The inclination of this medical condition is that it will progressively become precarious. This is so because it is capable of conquering neighboring tissues and spreading as well. Leukoplakia is a form of premalignant cancer. They evolve as thick white patches inside the cheeks or on gums below the tongue. These patches are very difficult to be scraped off from the mouth. They are caused mainly due to chewing tobacco and smoking, and ff left untreated can expand.
  3. Malignant tumor: These are the cancerous tumors, in which cells multiply abnormally and rapidly. They are unstable and travel along bloodstream, circulatory system and lymphatic system to other parts of the body. Sarcomas and carcinomas are the most common types of malignant tumors. While the former is related to connective tissues the latter is related to organs and glands.

The most common procedure to name the type of cancer is to refer to their site of origin. Adenocarcinoma, refers to cancer in the adenoid glands. Similarly, a benign tumor of fatty tissue is called lipoma, whereas a malignant tumor in the same area is referred to as liposarcoma.

What is a biopsy? How does it relate to a tumor?
A Biopsy is a medical procedure practised by qualified medical practitioners. This procedure helps in identifying the type of tumor within a patient. It aids the doctor to conclude the type of treatment to be given to any patient. This procedure is a definite diagnosis to the identification of cancer. A Biopsy is the removal of a sample of the abnormal, unwanted tissue for laboratory examination. Biopsies are of different types, and they may be performed using ultrasound, CT scan or MRI depending on where the tumor is.

  1. Excisional biopsy: In this method, the entire lump of excess tissue is removed.
  2. Incisional biopsy: Here a sample of the abnormal tissue is removed surgically.
  3. Needle aspiration biopsy: Here the sample is extracted with the help of a needle.

After extraction, the tissue layers are sent to pathological departments to check their composition, and cause of disease.

1439 people found this helpful

Spinals Tumors - How To Diagnose Them?

DMRT, MBBS, MD - Radiation Oncology, DNBR
Oncologist, Kolkata
Spinals Tumors - How To Diagnose Them?

Spinal Tumors are an abnormal mass that grows in the spinal cord or around it. Since these tumors occur in the spinal region, whether spinal cord or column, they came to be known as Spinal tumors. The primary tumor originates in the spine, and secondary tumors may grow in the other areas. They can be benign or malignant. Oncologists classify the spinal tumors according to their location and nature of cancer. They can be cervical, thoracic, lumbar or sacrum.

Causes of Spinal Tumor

The causes of spinal tumors are unknown to this day. Generally, cell growth in the tumors are fast and uncontrollably. This makes it difficult for the removal of cancer completely. There can be some harmful components and agents that cause cancer.

Spinal cord cancer generally attacks and affect lymphocytes which are a type of immune cells. People with compromised or low immunity system are more prone to spinal cord lymphoma. There is also a genetic component that can be a probable cause of cancer in people. This genetic disorder creates benign tumors in the tissue layer of the spinal cord.

Symptoms of Spinal Tumor

The symptoms of early spinal tumors are rarely seen. However, with the growth of spinal tumor progresses, patients may feel different symptoms that may affect their blood vessels, bones, and nerves connected with the spinal cord. The symptoms related to spinal tumors include:

  • Back pain

  • Senselessness at back

  • Difficulty in walking

  • Pain at the site of the tumor

  • Loss of bowel

  • Loss of bladder function

  • Weak sensation in the muscles especially in arms and legs

  • Pain originating from the back and radiating to other parts as well

Since the grown of the tumor is unknown, the early symptoms only show back pain. Gradually this pain travels to lower back, hips, legs, and arms which worsen with time. Spinal tumors progress at a different rate.

Diagnosis

Since the symptoms of spinal tumors are prevalent, it is generally overlooked by many doctors and patients. Hence, it is necessary that doctor examining you should be aware of your medical history. The diagnosis includes physical and neurological examinations. The following methods can determine spinal tumors:

  • MRI Scan: MRI is the most effective way to look into the body organs. It uses a compelling, magnetic field, and radio waves to get the images of the spinal cord without operating the patient. Dye is injected into the spinal cord, and the doctors the determine the tissue mass that is developing in the spine region with the accumulation of dye in the region. It is the most preferred method to detect a tumor in the spine.

  • CT Scan: CT scans are a cheaper option than MRI. It is generally used to scan spinal tumor when the patient is claustrophobic or cannot afford for MRI scan. Similar to the MRI scan, the dye is injected in the spinal region of the patient when performing a CT scan.

  • Biopsy: This method is used when doctors observe the development of a mass in the spinal cord of the patient. A small piece of the mass is retrieved and diagnosed under a microscope to understand the type and nature of the tissue mass developing in the spine of the patient.

Spinal tumors once detected requires thorough medical treatment and surgeries. Consult with the expert oncologist and get yourself checked. If avoided, it may lead to a severe threat to life.

 

1443 people found this helpful

Brain Tumor - Know Tests To Check For It!

Dr. Gaurav Bansal 88% (10 ratings)
M.Ch (AIIMS) - Neuro Surgery, MS - General Surgery, MBBS, IFAANS (USA)
Neurosurgeon, Noida
Brain Tumor - Know Tests To Check For It!

A brain tumor can occur at any age and it generally occurs in people in the age group of 40-60 years. The common types of brain tumor are termed as meningioma and gliomas. These supratentorial brain tumors generally occur above the covering of the cerebellum tissue. In children, brain tumors occur at the age of 1-12 years and the most common tumors are ependymomas, astrocytoma and meduloblastomas. Brain tumor is the common cause of death even in children.

Tips for Detecting a Brain Tumor

The general symptoms that are indications of a brain tumor include severe headaches, memory changes, nausea, drowsiness, sleep problems, fatigue and sudden involuntary movements of muscles of an individual. The symptoms can be either specific or generic and the general symptoms are mainly caused by the pressure of the tumor on the brain. The specific symptoms, on the other hand, are caused when specific parts of the brain does not function properly. Many people even experience loss of control of body functions.

The other problems that are experienced by individuals include changes in the ability to perform daily activities and loss of balance. They find difficulty in hearing, speech and at times are very aggressive. If these symptoms exist, then your doctor would recommend a physical examination and ask about your health history and that of your family.

Tests to Detect Brain Tumor
The tests that are advised by doctors to detect a brain tumor include MRI, neurologic exam, CT scan, biopsy, angiogram and spinal tap.

In the neurologic exam the vision, alertness, hearing, coordination, muscle strength and reflexes are checked by the doctor. The doctor also checks for any swelling in the eyes which can be caused by the pressing of the nerve which connects the brain and the eye.

The CT scan done for detecting brain tumor provides detailed pictures of your head and it is done through an X-ray machine which is connected to a computer. The contrast material is injected into the blood vessel of your hand and abnormal areas can be seen easily.

Biopsy
In this method tissues from the brain are removed and tested for tumor cells. The cells are observed by a pathologist under a microscope mainly to check for abnormal cells. The biopsy method is used to show tissue changes that can further lead to cancer. Brain tumor can be easily diagnosed with this method.

MRI:
Magnetic Resonance Imaging or MRI as it is commonly referred to is of great use as it helps to diagnose brain tumors. In this procedure, a dye is injected through a vein in the arm using which the variances in the tissues of the brain can be identified.

Consult your doctor today for more information on the same.

2171 people found this helpful

Acoustic Neuroma - Know The Risks Involved!

Dr. Harmeet Singh Pasricha 91% (70 ratings)
DNB (ENT), MBBS, MNAMS - Otorhinolaryngology
ENT Specialist, Gurgaon
Acoustic Neuroma - Know The Risks Involved!

Acoustic neuroma is the development of noncancerous and slow-growing tumors on the main, vestibular nerve that travels from the inner ear to the brain, connecting the two organs. They are also known as vestibular schwannoma, as it arises from Schwann cells covering the vestibular nerve. It rarely grows rapidly or attains a large enough size that can press against the brain and interfere with the vital functions of the brain. Since the tumor is benign, the patient can be assured that it won’t spread to the other parts of the body; however, they can grow large enough to disrupt the normal function of the body.

The pressure from the acoustic neuroma on the main nerve can cause loss of hearing, a constant ringing in the ear and unsteadiness. As per a report published by the Acoustic Neuroma Association, 1 out of every 50,000 people suffers from this condition.

Risk factors for acoustic neuroma: 

Acoustic neuroma does not have quite as many risk factors. The only established risk factor for acoustic neuroma is having a parent who suffers from the rare genetic disorder neurofibromatosis 2 (NF2). However, having said that, neurofibromatosis 2 (NF2) accounts for only 5 percent of the reported cases. In most of the cases, it has been found that the tumors appear spontaneously without any indication of a family member having this disease or any medical history of the same.

The development of noncancerous tumors on the ear nerves as well as other nerves in the body is scientifically supported as a characteristic indication of neurofibromatosis 2 (NF2). Neurofibromatosis 2 (NF2) is also termed as an autosomal dominant disorder, which indicates that the mutated gene can pass from just one parent. Each of the children has a fifty-fifty chance of inheriting the disease.

However, scientists and doctors have failed to identify why specific people get these tumors. They have reached a generic conclusion about the risk factors, which may include:

  • Loud noises near the ear.
  • parathyroid neuroma, which is a similar benign tumor of the thyroid.
  • A chance of exposure to low levels of radiation in the childhood.

How to diagnose the risk factors for acoustic neuroma?If you are experiencing loss of hearing or other neurological symptoms, try to keep track of them. Later on, mention them to your doctor for a proper diagnosis. A detailed history of the symptoms will help your doctor. Your doctor will perform a hearing test to check whether you have an acoustic neuroma. MRI Brain is the main diagnostic modality for acoustic neuroma. The doctor may also perform a brainstem auditory evoked response tests along with an electronystagmography to detect any changes in eye movement, caused due to the inner ear.

1911 people found this helpful

Benign Liver Tumor - How Can Ayurveda Help?

Ayurvedic Doctor, Delhi
Benign Liver Tumor - How Can Ayurveda Help?

A benign liver tumor refers to the abnormal growth of cells inside the liver or outside of it. There are three types of such tumors but in most of the cases, the tumor is non-cancerous in nature and does not cause any harm to the individual. However, in some cases the tumor causes discomfort to the individual in the form of symptoms such as pain in the abdomen, swelling in the stomach, weight loss, weakness, nausea, and liver inflammation. This can be troublesome for the patient and it is also an indication that the tumor may turn cancerous in future. So, timely treatment is necessary and Ayurveda offers a “side-effects free” and holistic treatment procedure for the condition.

Ayurveda Treatment For Benign Liver Tumors
Ayurveda is a complete science based on a centuries-old knowledge that treats the disease by tackling the root cause but in case of a benign liver tumor, there is no exact cause that can be controlled or rectified. Tumors are abnormal growth of liver cells. So, the growth has to be eliminated and checked and Ayurveda does so with the help of herbal medicines. The medicines used for the treatment of benign liver tumor such as ashwagandha, giloy, milk thistle, etc. are loaded with healing properties that check the growth of tumors, dissolve them, and enhance the immunity of the body so that it can fight the symptoms of the liver tumor.

Effects of Ayurveda
The ayurvedic medicines are gentle to the body and do not harm the liver or any other organ. For example, ashwagandha possesses strong anti-cancer properties and it restricts the abnormal growth of the cells but it is not detrimental to the body in any way. Also, they protect the normal cells after a patient has undergone chemotherapy for cancer. Giloy is also loaded with antioxidants that repair the damage done to the liver by the tumor. All the Ayurvedic medicines prescribed in benign tumor work to check the growth of the tumor and melt the tumor, helping the patient avoid surgery and harsh allopathic medications.

Ayurveda Results
Ayurveda is a holistic and lasting treatment option for individuals suffering from a benign liver tumor. It treats the patient in an organic manner and this is why there is a lot of emphasis on diet. In case of a liver tumor, the patient is asked to keep away from heavy food as well as alcohol. Ayurveda is not about quick solutions but a permanent remedy that cures the tumor completely and also ensures no relapse after the treatment. Nevertheless, it is in the interest of the patient that they begin the Ayurveda treatment as soon as they are diagnosed with the condition. The earlier the treatment begins, the easier it is for the patient to heal. Also, the treatment duration becomes shorter.

Ayurveda is really a favourable treatment option for patients suffering from a benign liver tumor. It removes the tumor in a natural way without harming the liver. The medicines are effective in all kinds of tumor and cure the individual completely after the course of medication is over.

In case you have a concern or query, you can always consult an ayurvedic doctor for proper line of treatment.

2973 people found this helpful

Brain Tumor - How To Diagnose It?

Dr. Nitin Jagdhane (Jain) 96% (33 ratings)
MCh Neurosurgery, Fellowship in Spine surgery, MS - General Surgery
Neurosurgeon, Mumbai
Brain Tumor - How To Diagnose It?

A brain tumor can occur at any age and it generally occurs in people in the age group of 40-60 years. The common types of brain tumor are termed as meningioma and gliomas. These supratentorial brain tumors generally occur above the covering of the cerebellum tissue. In children, brain tumors occur at the age of 1-12 years and the most common tumors are ependymomas, astrocytoma and meduloblastomas. Brain tumor is the common cause of death even in children.

Tips to Detecting a Brain Tumor

The general symptoms that are indications of a brain tumor include severe headaches, memory changes, nausea, drowsiness, sleep problems, fatigue and sudden involuntary movements of muscles of an individual. The symptoms can be either specific or generic and the general symptoms are mainly caused by the pressure of the tumor on the brain. The specific symptoms on the other hand are caused when specific parts of the brain does not function properly. Many people even experience loss of control of body functions.

The other problems that are experienced by individuals include changes in the ability to perform daily activities and loss of balance. They find difficulty in hearing, speech and at times are very aggressive. If these symptoms exist, then your doctor would recommend a physical examination and ask about your health history and that of your family.

Tests to Detect Brain Tumor
The tests that are advised by doctors to detect a brain tumor include MRI, neurologic exam, CT scan, biopsy, angiogram and spinal tap.

In the neurologic exam the vision, alertness, hearing, coordination, muscle strength and reflexes are checked by the doctor. The doctor also checks for any swelling in the eyes which can be caused by the pressing of the nerve which connects the brain and the eye.

The CT scan done for detecting brain tumor provides detailed pictures of your head and it is done through an X-ray machine which is connected to a computer. The contrast material is injected into the blood vessel of your hand and abnormal areas can be seen easily.

Biopsy
In this method tissues from the brain are removed and tested for tumor cells. The cells are observed by a pathologist under a microscope mainly to check for abnormal cells. The biopsy method is used to show tissue changes that can further lead to cancer. Brain tumor can be easily diagnosed with this method.

MRI:
Magnetic Resonance Imaging or MRI as it is commonly referred to is of great use as it helps to diagnose brain tumors. In this procedure, a dye is injected through a vein in the arm using which the variances in the tissues of the brain can be identified.

Consult your doctor today for more information on the same.

2082 people found this helpful

Gestational Trophoblastic Disease - How To Treat It?

Dr. Jyotsna Patel 88% (14 ratings)
MD - Obstetrics & Gynaecology, MBBS
Gynaecologist, Mumbai
Gestational Trophoblastic Disease - How To Treat It?

Gestational trophoblastic disease is a rare condition. It only happens when trophoblast cells abnormally grow inside the uterus. Also, this only happens after conception. These cells surround the egg which has been fertilized in the uterus. It is also worth note that the trophoblast cells usually connect the fertilized eggs to the uterus' walls and also form a part of the placenta. It is only when there is a tumor that this disease is diagnosed. There are many forms of gestational trophoblastic disease. Here they are:

Types

1.        Complete hydatidiform moles
2.        Partial hydatidiform moles
3.        Invasive moles
4.        Choriocarcinomas
5.        Placental-site trophoblastic tumors (PSTT)
6.        Epithelioid trophoblastic tumors (ETT)
It is worth note that most of these diseases have different stages. The stage of how far the cancer has developed can be found out using the following techniques.

Testing for cancer

1.        Chest X-ray
This is simply an X-ray of the chest.

2.        MRI 
An MRI is an abbreviation of magnetic resonance imaging. It makes use of a form of magnet which transfers radio waves to a computer to find out what is going on within your body.

3.        CT scan
This is similar to an X-ray except that more detailed and larger pictures inside the body can be taken and the scan has a slightly different procedure.

There are several ways to treat it depending on how far the cancer has spread into the body. Here they are:

Treatment

1.        Surgery
Surgery is usually done while the mole is still non-cancerous. The chances of the mole becoming cancerous are increased by pregnancy. Therefore, it is crucial that you do not become pregnant until the surgery is complete.

2.        Chemotherapy
This is a less-ideal option but has to be taken if the mole has become cancerous. 
 

4182 people found this helpful

Neck Cancer - What Causes It & How Can It Be Treated?

MBBS, MS - ENT
ENT Specialist, Ghaziabad
Neck Cancer - What Causes It & How Can It Be Treated?

Neck cancer refers to the formation of cancer cells in the throat or neck region of your body. Neck cancer is commonly seen in people above sixty years of age .But, people above forty can also have the chances of getting neck cancer. Though the symptoms of neck cancer can vary from one person to the other, 

Some of the common symptoms are stated as follows :

1. Neck cancer affects the voice box, so a change in your voice can be noticed.
2. Weight loss is also a symptom for neck cancer.
3. A person suffering from neck cancer can also suffer from dysphagia or difficulty in swallowing.
4. Sore throat in some cases can be considered as a symptom of neck cancer
5. Bleeding from mouth or through your nose is also a common symptom for neck cancer.
6. Ear pain in some cases is a symptom of neck cancer.
7. Coughing persistently is also regarded as a symptom of neck cancer.
8. Sometimes a lump in the neck is also noticed and it is usually painless.
9. Some people also encounter breathing problem.
10. In some cases a swelling of the neck, jaw or eyes can also be noticed.

Neck cancer involves certain risk factors too. Neck cancer can be treated in many ways. The following are few treatments available for neck cancer-

1. Surgery - Your doctor can conduct a surgery for removing the tumors from your neck region. The doctor may decide to do either a microsurgery or laser treatment or endoscopy.

2. Chemotherapy - If the tumor spreads to other regions or is large in size, then your doctor may recommend chemotherapy. 

3. Radiation - It is used to destroy the malignant cells. It is usually conducted after removing the tumor.

These three are the common treatments followed by doctors. Your doctor may also take help of other treatments like administering drugs to control the growth of cancer cells. But, sometimes treatments fail to work if the process of metastasis starts. So you should not ignore it, as soon as you encounter any of the symptoms stated above, visiting an oncologist is highly recommended.
 

2694 people found this helpful

Klatskin Tumour - Know Procedure Of It!

Dr. Satish Pawar 89% (42 ratings)
MBBS, MS - General Surgery, DNB - Surgical Oncology
Oncologist, Hyderabad
Klatskin Tumour - Know Procedure Of It!

A fifty-four years old Marwari patient from Assam presented with progressive jaundice and intermittent episodes of abdominal pain for three months. CT scan of abdomen showed a small (1.5 x 1.5 cm) mass in the bifurcation of common bile duct which is causing biliary tract obstruction and hence jaundice. Portal nodes were not enlarged and there was no lesion in the liver parenchyma. At presentation, serum bilirubin level was high (14.7 mg/dl). Endoscopic biopsy and brushing cytology was adenocarcinoma and clinic-radiological diagnosis was ‘Klatskin tumour’. 

Metallic stenting was done to relieve jaundice and after stenting, serum bilirubin level came down rapidly. PET scan showed increased uptake in the biliary duct region mass without any sign of metastasis. He was evaluated and planned for treatment with robotic radiosurgery. He was treated using robotic radiosurgery (CyberKnife) with high precision radiotherapy technique after fiducial placement (gold seeds) near the tumour. After one year, the patient had no obvious complain, liver function (no jaundice) was normal and CT scan evaluation showed completed resolution of the mass.  

Klatskin tumour is an uncommon tumour that arises from the bifurcation of common bile duct in the abdomen (duct that drains bile from liver). Patients usually present with progressive (increasing) persistent jaundice followed by pain in the upper abdomen. Surgical excision is the mainstay of treatment. However, surgery is not possible in the majority of the patients owing to the location of the tumour, high jaundice and medical condition. Chemotherapy may not be an optimal option in the majority of the patients as they present with high jaundice. Majority of such patients with poor medical condition are treated with only supportive care and prognosis is dismal (survival for a few months only).

Patients with metallic stent have relief from jaundice but unfortunately, in a few weeks time, the stent gets blocked with tumour growth. Patients again present with high jaundice and have severely impaired quality of life. They complain of severe itching of entire body, loss of appetite and succumb due to impaired liver function from high jaundice/obstruction. The treatment is to have a longer ‘jaundice-free period’ which in turn improves quality of life and possibly survival function as well.  

Stereotactic body radiation therapy’s high dose radiation ‘sterilizes’ the metallic stent and bile duct region. It is assumed that with radiation therapy, blockage of bile duct and stent is delayed and patients have a longer jaundice-free period. In Klatskin tumour, CyberKnife allows to deliver a high dose of radiation in a short duration to the target without significant morbidity. 

3293 people found this helpful
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