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Liver Cancer

Liver Cancer: Overview, Risk Factors, Symptoms, Treatment and More | National Cancer Centre Singapore

Liver Cancer - What it is

 
The liver is one of the major organs of the body, and is vital to life (hence the name “live-r”). It is involved in many processes of the body, such as manufacturing various essential proteins, processing and storing nutrients, destroying toxins and poisons among others. The liver is made up of many different cell types, but the two main ones are liver cells (hepatocytes) and cells lining the bile ducts (cholangiocytes). 

Liver Cancer

Like any other part of the body, the cells in the liver can undergo changes to form cancer. Liver cells that become cancerous form liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma, HCC). Cancerous cells that start from other parts of the body and spread to the liver, for example, colon cancer that has spread, does not constitute liver cancer, but rather, are known as secondary liver tumours or metastatic cancers to the liver.

How common is Liver Cancer?

Liver cancer is the sixth most common cancer worldwide. In Singapore, it is the fourth most common cancer among men. It affects about 24 individuals in every 100,000 people a year.

Liver cancer is mainly an Asian disease, and is common in South-East Asia, China, Japan and Korea. It is also common in parts of Africa and the Mediterranean (especially Italy).

Age of Onset

Liver cancer occurs in persons in the older age group, from 40 to 50 years old. It can affect a younger individual who has contracted chronic hepatitis B or C from birth or in those with certain congenital conditions.

Liver Cancer - Preparing for surgery

Liver Cancer - Post-surgery care

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