The liver is a large organ that sits on the upper right side of the human abdomen. The weight is
about 3 pounds and it has a reddish-brown color. The liver is divided into two large sections: the
right and the left lobes. It performs several important functions in our body, including
metabolizing the nutrients, medicines, and alcohol, digesting fats and many more.
Next to the liver sits the gallbladder, along with parts of the pancreas and intestines. These
organs along with liver help in the digestion of food in the body.
There are several types of liver conditions arising due to a multiple number of factors. These
Hepatitis: Inflammation of the liver caused by viruses such as hepatitis A, B, and C.
Cirrhosis: Long-term damage to the liver leading to permanent scarring, called cirrhosis. This has
the potential to develop into liver cancer.
Liver failure: can occur as a result of certain genetic diseases, and/or excessive alcohol. People
with end-stage liver failure may need a liver transplant.
Ascites: This condition occurs due to progressing liver disease. As the liver leaks fluid into the
abdomen, which causes inflammation and swelling.
Gallstones: If a gallstone becomes stuck in the bile duct, it can cause liver infection.
Hemochromatosis: it is the condition in which there is an excess of iron deposition around the
liver. This results in malfunctioning of the liver, leading to several health problems.
Primary sclerosing cholangitis: it is a rare disease that causes inflammation and scarring of the
bile ducts in the liver.
Primary biliary cirrhosis: It causes slow destruction of bile ducts, and results in liver scarring
which is permanent.
How can liver damage be prevent?
Many liver conditions can be prevented by avoiding the known risk factors for live damage-
Avoid hepatitis B and C infections
The most common cause of liver failure worldwide is chronic liver infection with Hepatitis B virus
(HBV) and Hepatitis C virus (HCV).
HBV and HCV can spread from person to person by sharing contaminated needles (in drug use),
through unprotected sex, and through childbirth.
These infections may be avoid by using fresh sterile needles and by implementing safer sex
practices (using condoms).
The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all children and
adults who are at risk of getting this infection should get the HBV vaccine to reduce the incidence
of hepatitis and liver cancer. There is no vaccine for HCV, hence it can only be prevent by
treating the known symptoms and signs, and by implementing safer drug and sex practices.
The CDC recommends that a person should get tested for HCV if the person –
Is born from 1945 through 1965.
Has a history of injecting drugs (even just once or a long time ago)
Takes medicine for a blood clotting problem
Has received a blood transfusion or organ transplant before July 1992
Was on long-term hemodialysis
Anyone who is infected with HIV
There are a number of drugs that are used to treat chronic HBV. These drugs can’t cure the
infection, but reduce the viral load in the bloodstream. The aim of the treatments is to reduce the
risk of liver failure and liver cancer.
Limit alcohol and tobacco use
Drinking alcohol can lead to cirrhosis, which may ultimately lead to liver cancer. Moderation in
the intake of alcohol or complete abstinence could help prevent liver cancer.
Smoking is also amongst the top factor that can cause liver cancer. It is advised to not smoke if
the person is predispose to liver infections, because smoking can increase the chances of liver
Avoiding obesity is another way to help protect against liver cancer. Obese people are more
susceptible to have fatty liver and diabetes, both of which make the body more risked for liver
Limit exposure to cancer-causing chemicals
Changing the way grains are store in can reduce exposure to cancer-causing substances such
as aflatoxins. There are regulations in different countries for the same, to keep a tab on the use
of cancer-causing chemicals.
Treat diseases that increase liver cancer risk
Some diseases which are inherited can cause liver scarring which can increase a person’s risk
for liver cancer. Treatment of these diseases in early stages can lower this risk.
For instance, children who are expose to high risks of developing liver cancer need to be
screened at regular intervals to keep a check.
The treatment option available for Liver Cancer depends on the extent (stage) of the disease
along with the patient’s age, overall health, and personal preferences.
Surgery – multiple number of options are available to treat liver cancers:
o Surgically removing the tumor.
o Liver transplant in India. A liver transplant surgery is done to replace a disease liver with a
healthy one. Liver transplant surgery is only an option for early-stage liver cancer.
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