Liver Cancer

Radiation Therapy in Phoenix, AZ

At Palo Verde Cancer Specialists, we understand that fighting cancer can be one of life’s most daunting, intimidating experiences. That’s why we’re here to help, every step of the way. We offer a variety of cutting-edge cancer treatments and our team of expert cancer doctors works closely with patients to provide the comprehensive support needed to beat cancer. We treat almost all forms of cancer at our six state-of-the-art facilities, including all forms of liver cancer.

About Liver Cancer

Liver cancer is the world’s sixth most common type of cancer, with more than 40,000 people diagnosed every year in the US alone. The term ‘liver cancer’ applies to any cancerous growth that forms in the cells of the liver, one of the largest organs in the body. The liver plays a number of crucial bodily functions including forming clotting factors for the blood, processing nutrients from the digestive tract, and filtering alcohol, drugs, and other toxins out of the body.

As with most forms of cancer, scientists still aren’t clear on the exact causal mechanisms of liver cancer. However, researchers have identified a number of risk factors that increase the likelihood of developing liver cancer at some point in life. Liver cancer risk factors include:

  • Heavy Alcohol Use: This is a leading cause of liver cirrhosis in the US, which is a condition where liver cells become damaged and are replaced by scar tissue. Cirrhosis is itself a major risk factor for liver cancer, so alcohol-induced cirrhosis is a common cause for liver cancer in the US. Heavy drinking (6 or more standard drinks a day) greatly increases the risk of developing liver cancer.
  • Cirrhosis: This condition, where healthy liver tissue is damaged and replaced by scar tissue, may be caused by alcohol use or viral hepatitis. In any case, it’s a major risk factor for liver cancer.
  • Being Male: Liver cancer is most common for men, although this may be due to behavior rather than a biological predisposition.
  • Race: Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have the highest rates of liver cancer in the US, with African Americans and whites having the lowest.
  • Hep-B or Hep-C: Chronic viral hepatitis is the most common risk factor for liver cancer globally,
  • Type 2 Diabetes: Patients with type 2 diabetes have an increased risk of developing liver cancer.
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Symptoms & Diagnosis

Unfortunately, liver cancer usually doesn’t cause symptoms until the later, more advanced stages of the disease. If a liver tumor does produce symptoms, they may include any of the following:

  • Pain and bloating in the abdomen
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Appetite loss
  • Itchiness
  • Weight loss
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)

However, cancer doctors can use a number of tests to detect and diagnose liver cancer before it gets serious. Usually, the first sign of liver cancer comes in the form of an abnormal blood test. Certain proteins in the blood act as markers for liver dysfunction, signaling that something is amiss.

If a blood test suggests liver abnormalities, your doctor may recommend an imaging test like a CT, ultrasound, or MRI. These tests will show any abnormal growths or tumors in the liver. If a tumor or abnormality is detected, your doctor will take a biopsy, which involves removing a small sample of liver tissue for examination in a lab. The biopsy will determine if the abnormality is cancerous or a different kind of problem.

Make Your Appointment For Cancer Treatment Today!

Please reach out to Palo Verde Cancer Specialists today to explore your treatment options. We understand the challenges you’re facing, and we’re here to provide compassionate support and guidance. With five convenient locations throughout the valley, we’re dedicated to helping you every step of the way.

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