Liver Cancer – A Silent Killer

Liver Cancer – A Silent Killer


Globally, liver cancer is the third leading cause of cancer related deaths.  As most of the patients with liver cancer are asymptomatic, only showing signs and symptoms in the later stages, the number of deaths keeps increasing. This is the reason liver cancer has also been dubbed as “a silent killer”. The rates of liver cancer screening are low and there is a greater need for emphasis on the importance of screenings and early detection for better patient outcomes. Contact a cancer hospital in Siliguri to get your screening done, today!

Table of contents:

  •     Liver Cancer Screening
  •     Risk Demographic
  •     Treatments Available

Liver Cancer Screening

The main goal of liver cancer screening is to identify liver cancer in patients as early as possible. Early detection is very important because when liver cancer is diagnosed in the early stages it is a very treatable condition and the prognosis is far better than for patients with more advanced liver cancer at the time of diagnosis.

Treatments for patients with advanced tumors are limited and the survival rate takes a huge dip. Liver cancer patients are mostly asymptomatic until the last stages and routine screening is the only way to detect small liver lesions that are easier to treat.

Risk Demographic

Liver cancers are mostly a result of chronic infection with the hepatitis B and C viruses. Advanced liver disease caused by heavy alcohol use, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, primary biliary cirrhosis and hereditary hemochromatosis are also some of the major causes of liver cancer. While having cirrhosis is the major risk factor for liver cancer, it is important to note that some patients may be at a elevated risk even without cirrhosis, hepatitis B-infected Asian men over the age of 50 and Asian women over the age of 40 in particular.

Treatments Available

The treatment of liver cancer requires a multi-disciplinary team approach requiring the input of hepatologists, liver surgeons, oncologists, pathologists and radiologists. Surgical resection can be considered for patients with good liver function. Radiofrequency ablation and liver transplantation are the main curative options for patients with advanced liver disease who are not candidates for resection.

Radiation therapies, including stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) and Y-90 radioembolization also play a significant role in the management of non-resectable liver cancer. Patients with advanced liver cancer that is not amenable to surgery or locoregional treatments by radiologists are mostly considered for systemic therapy with sorafenib by most cancer hospital in Siliguri, though the survival benefit is limited.

Dr. Saptarshi Ghosh is one of the leading clinical oncologists associated with one of the most prestigious cancer hospital in Siliguri. He has a keen interest in Head & Neck cancers, Breast cancers, GI malignancies, Lung cancers, Prostate cancers and Gynecological cancers.


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