Liver Cancer Recurrence

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Liver cancer recurrence is undoubtedly to be feared by all patients who have been through liver cancer treatment. No doctor can give a guarantee that liver cancer won't recur. No doctor can positively assure that the treatment was a 100% success and there is absolutely no possibility that the liver cancer may not turn up again.

Why does liver cancer recur: Liver cancer recurrence is probable due to the complexity of the liver structure and due to the fact that a huge number of cells, not only from the liver but also from the surrounding organs may be affected by liver cancer. Also cancer cells divide and grow rapidly. There is a high probability that many of the cells may escape treatment.

  • Liver cancer can also recur if initial diagnosis and detection tests failed to detect cancer cells in other spots of the liver or in other organs. Tests targeted at detecting particular type of cancer may simply miss out on detecting a different type of cancer in other organs.
  • Neither chemotherapy nor radio therapy or surgery can completely remove the liver cancer especially if the liver cancer had metastasized or spread to other organs. Liver surgery for tumor of cancer may fail to remove the whole tumor living behind traces of cancerous cells that may again grow into a tumor.
  • Liver is delicate organ. Cirhossis due to diseases like Hepatitis and Diabetes and alcohol consumption, damages the liver structure. The liver may not be able to repair itself completely after treatment and hence the damaged walls of the liver are prone to re-growth of the tumor

Where can liver cancer recur: Liver cancer recurrence is possible in almost all parts of the liver as well as the other organs, tubes, blood vessels and lymph nodes. Cancer of the liver may affect completely the distant organs such as the colon or lungs.

What can I do to prevent liver cancer recurrence: Liver cancer recurrence can be delayed or avoided completely, if you take basic precautions.

  • Go for liver cancer screening. Modern science has come up with a number of ways to detect liver cancer recurrence. These include blood tests, MRI, ultrasound, endoscopic examination, urine tests and liver biopsies. Singapore liver cancer recurrence score (SLICER) by your doctor can predict the chances of recurrence. Be sure to go for regular check up if you score high on SLICER.
  • Prevent recurrence of diseases like Hepatitis B and C. Follow basic tips. Avoid unprotected sex. Avoid reuse of needles, blades, razor and other personal hygiene products. Go for Hepatitis B and C vaccination.
  • Prevent recurrence of abdominal disorders. Abdominal disorders such as constant indigestion can be prevented with a healthy diet. Avoid too hot or too spicy food. Avoid food from unhygienic locations such as roadside stalls. Drink clean water. Make sure you eat only properly cooked food.
  • Form a habit of exercise. Exercise goes a long way in strengthening your body and digestive system and hence the liver. Do join a regular gym or yoga class.
  • Run away from alcohol. Alcohol severely damages the liver and the stomach lining making it weak. Do keep away from alcohol
  • Liver transplant patients must take extra care of liver to follow regular medicine routine as there is a fear of liver cancer reoccurring in the new liver. Also the body must be supplemented by drugs that help the body adjust to the new liver.

How do I cope with liver cancer recurrence: Liver cancer treatments are not easy. Chances are you may have to undergo more chemotherapy, radiation therapy or even a surgery to completely treat liver cancer. You need to have that extra grit and determination to prevent as well fight liver cancer recurrence. You must remain positive and emotionally strong. Do not succumb to fear, self doubt, anxiety, stress or anger. Trust your doctors and medicines. Do keep your family atmosphere healthy, lively and energetic. Do take help of friends, relatives and social workers or support groups to help you ease the tension. Make provisions for treatment as well as your family. Don't hesitate to talk to your doctor or call up the cancer support help lines.

Liver cancer recurrence can thus be prevented by a little self care. Don't let the thought of recurrence of liver cancer ruffle your mind and give you any stress.

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