Liver cancer is a common form of cancer that happens to be particularly deadly. 9% of cancer deaths are from hepatic disease due to the intensely metastatic properties of the condition. Liver cancer is usually caused by cirrhosis from hepatitis B or C. Alcohol abuse also can lead to cirrhosis and cause cancer – no surprise considering alcohol’s drastic effects on the liver. The disease is intensely painful and comes with jaundice, sweating, and anemia. Liver cancer often comes from lifestyle issues (drug use, needle usage, smoking, drinking) and much current literature about the disease espouses living a healthy/safe life to easily avoid any chance of it. If diagnosed early (using ultrasound or MRI technology), 5-year survival rates end up around 31% - and the numbers only get worse from then onwards. If it’s spread to the lymph nodes survival rates hover around the 10% range. When it comes to treating liver cancer, options are limited. Radiotherapy is ineffective due to the liver’s intolerance of radiation. Most drugs aren’t effective because of the nature of the liver. The best option for the disease is to look to the future – a vaccine is being developed under the name hepcortespenlisimut-L. However, it is only in phase 3 of its clinical trials and will require much more time before it sees hospitals. This means that grassroots support and awareness is very important. Show solidarity and help progress research with this green wristband!
Written by Michele Wheat