Stages of liver cancer range from stage I to IV. As a rule, the lower the number, the more likely the cancer is to spread. Higher numbers, such as stage IV, mean that cancer is more prevalent. Although everyone’s cancer experience is unique, cancers with similar stages tend to have the same attitude and are often treated in the same way.
Unlike other cancers, liver cancer is complicated by the fact that many patients have damage that reduces the function of the organ. The liver provides essential nutrients for the body, supporting digestion and removing toxins from the body. Decreased liver function can lead to serious, even life-threatening, conditions. Decreased liver function can also have an effect when choosing treatment options.
As with most cancers, the condition of liver cancer is explained by the TNM system. There are two TNM combinations that are under stage 4; 1) Any T, N1, and M0 and 2) Any T, any N, and any M1. This means that there are no restrictions on the number and size of tumors in both cases and there may be a single lymph node spread without metastases.
Survival Rate of Stage 4 Liver Cancer
The survival rate of any cancer is the most important part. Stage 4 of Liver Cancer is no different either. The survival rate for Stage 4 is very low, and it is expected that only 4% of people can survive. However, if attention is given and the diagnosis of Liver Cancer is detected in the early stages of cancer then the patient’s survival rate increases significantly.
Life Expectancy of Stage 4 Liver Cancer
Life expectancy of Stage 4 Liver Cancer is not surprising at all. The stage is regarded as one of the most important Cancer of the Liver. The effects of Stage 4 on Liver Cancer are very serious, and the condition worsens over time. On average, a patient can live up to 6 months. However, if the liver is low then people can live for several years. However, the survival time of Step 4 depends on the condition of the people.
Prognosis of Stage 4 of Liver Cancer
The prognosis for Stage 4 of Liver Cancer is very serious when the cancer enters a critical condition. However, if the tumor size is small and also enclosed in the liver itself, then the condition is much better. Ablative therapies and surgical resection or Liver Transplantation can be therapeutic, and the patient can improve as time goes on.
Symptoms of stage 4 liver cancer
Considering the nature of the disease it is very important to understand the symptoms of stage 4 liver cancer, these not only help determine the course of treatment but also help to stabilize the patient. It should be noted that the symptoms of Liver Cancer are generally clear in Step 4. These are the following symptoms.
- Weight loss will be followed by fatigue and constant tiredness.
- The appetite seems to be constantly decreasing in patients. It has been shown that a patient suffering from Stage II Cancer will experience a feeling of hunger immediately after a small meal.
- Nausea and persistent vomiting make the patient anxious all the time.
- The presence of jaundice is quite obvious at this stage. However, the strength of jaundice may vary from individual to individual.
- The body becomes very weak, and fatigue is very common among sufferers.
- Fever is a common symptom for Stage II Cancer.
Unbearable pain in the lower abdomen and near the right shoulder blade is very common at this stage.
- Liver enlargement is a common symptom in Stage 4. It feels as if the mass is stuck in the right side of the ribs.
- The big spleen is also very common and gives the impression of a mass being stuck in the left side of the ribs.
- Swelling in various parts such as the abdomen is very common. These are also called Ascites.
Although the symptoms are the same as any other liver infection, but the symptoms are very important to establish Liver Cancer. Stage 4 is considered to be the final stage of liver cancer. Symptoms of liver cancer pain can change and get worse as time goes on.
Causes of stage 4 liver cancer
Most people who get liver cancer find it in the context of chronic liver disease (chronic liver damage called cirrhosis), which hurts the liver and increases the risk of liver cancer. Causes of cirrhosis include alcohol abuse, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C.
Aflatoxins; Aflatoxins are a toxic, carcinogenic mycotoxin. It is produced by fungi that grow on certain crops, including corn, peanuts, cotton seeds, and nuts.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease; tends to occur more frequently in people with a body mass index (BMI) over 30, have type 2 diabetes, have high levels of fat in their blood, or have metabolic syndrome.
Hepatitis B; Chronic hepatitis B virus infection is a risk factor for liver cancer. The risk of getting liver cancer can be up to 12 times higher in people with hepatitis B. Hepatitis B infection can lead to liver cancer without the presence of cirrhosis.
Anabolic steroid liver injury; The use of anabolic steroids classified as “appearance-enhancing and performance-enhancing drugs” is seen in inexperienced and professional athletes, although they are not permitted in most sports and are only legally available for prescription.
Related conditions; Several other conditions that affect the gallbladder and liver can also carry the risk of developing liver cancer. These include Wilson’s disease, alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, hemochromatosis, glycogen storage disease, primary biliary cholangitis and tyrosinemia.
Hepatitis C; Chronic hepatitis C infection can also lead to liver cancer in the absence of cirrhosis. The risk of liver cancer can be nine times higher for people with chronic hepatitis C infection.
Cirrhosis; The damage to the liver that causes the scar is called cirrhosis. There is a belief that cirrhosis is always confined to high alcohol intake, but there are many other causes of cirrhosis can develop.
The best way to detect liver cancer is a liver screening test conducted by an oncologist every 6 months for a patient with a diagnosis of cirrhosis. As with most cancers, it is best to treat liver cancer as soon as it is diagnosed. Once suspected liver cancer occurs, the doctor will prescribe the following to confirm the diagnosis:
Blood tests; alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), which can increase in 70% of patients with liver cancer. AFP levels may be normal in liver cancer. Increased AFP levels are suspected of liver cancer. AFP may increase cirrhosis and active hepatitis.
Imaging studies; Multiphasic helical CT scan and MRI with liver differences are a preferred image to detect the location and level of blood supply to cancer. If any image investigation is incomplete, then an alternative image study or image monitoring investigation should be conducted to help clarify the diagnosis.
Liver biopsy; is performed so that a tissue sample from the ulcer in the liver, which is analyzed by a pathologist to confirm the suspected diagnosis of liver cancer. Liver biopsy is not required in all cases, especially if imaging and laboratory markers are characteristic of liver cancer.
Treatment of stage 4 liver cancer
Treatment of Liver Cancer Stage 4 depends on the age, health and difficulty of the patient. Surgery is the best treatment for Stage II Cancer.
Stage 4 of liver cancer is a type of advanced condition, and therefore only certain treatments can be given. For example, liver transplantation is generally not an option for stage 4. Surgical removal of liver parts will also not be an option for stage 4 disease.
In most cases, the treatment offered will include medication, as well as treatment that helps with symptoms or pain. One type of treatment for stage 4 liver cancer is to use drugs that stimulate the patient’s immune system. This is called immunotherapy. The first course of treatment for stage 4 liver cancer may include Tecentriq and Avastin.
Blocking the blood supply to cancer can be done through a process called embolization. This technique uses a catheter to insert cells or beads that can block the cancerous blood vessels. Hunger in the bloodstream cancer inhibits the growth of cancer.
When this technique uses chemotherapy with synthetic material, it is sometimes called chemoembolization, as it inhibits blood circulation and binds the chemotherapy agent to the tumor. This technique is commonly used in patients with severe liver cancer by paralysis. Complications of embolization include fever, abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting.
The criterion for prognosis in cancer is usually a five-year survival rate. This is the number of patients who have recovered five years after diagnosis. The survival rate for five years varies depending on the stage of the cancer.
For cancer in the United States, data on survival comes from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program which is part of the National Cancer Institute. SEER does not use cancer stages 1 to 4, but instead classifies cancer as local, regional and remote.
For liver cancer which has been classified as stage 4, the most commonly used is a remote camp. For remote liver cancer, the survival rate for five years is 3%. For men, it is 2.2%, and for women, it is 4.0%
Chemotherapy involves the administration of medicine that kill the cancer cells. The drug can be given orally or by injection into a vein or artery that feeds the liver. People can have a variety of side effects from chemotherapy, depending on the medication used and the individual response of the patient.
Complications of chemotherapy include fatigue, simple bruises, hair loss, nausea and vomiting, swollen feet, diarrhea, and mouth sores. These effects are usually temporary.
5. Clinical trial
A clinical trial is a method of receiving specific treatment in a carefully controlled manner to determine if a new treatment method is safer, more effective and better than the existing treatment. New treatments could be a drug, a device, a different surgical procedure, a combination of two or more drugs, or therapeutic or even nutritional methods.
Research from clinical trials, including data supporting the effectiveness of experimental interventions, is important in the introduction of new therapeutic approaches and approaches to changing the standard of medical care for all types of liver cancer.
6. Radiation Therapy
The use of high-energy particles is another treatment that can treat stage 4 liver cancer. Two types that can be used are external beam therapy (EBRT) and stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT).
EBRT is similar to X-ray. The treatment lasts a few minutes, but may need to be repeated daily for a series of weeks. SBRT is a newly developed medical technique and can help preserve healthy liver tissue.
A doctor can kill cancer cells by using heat, laxatives, or by injecting special alcohol or acid directly into the cancer. This technique can also be used in drug treatment when cancer is preventable.
7. Liver transplantation
The doctor replaces the cancerous liver with a healthy liver from another person. It is usually used in very small and isolated liver tumors in patients with advanced cirrhosis. Liver transplant surgery can have the same problems as those mentioned above for surgery.
Also, side effects of liver transplant drugs may include liver failure, infections due to immune system suppression, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, kidney and bone weakness, and increased body hair.