What Is the Cancer?
There are two main kinds of liver cancer. Heptoma and cholangiocarcinoma. Heptoma is cancer of the hepatocytes. (The main functioning liver cell). Hepatoma is primary liver cancer. Hepatoma usually grows in the liver as a ball-like tumor, invading the normal tissue surrounding it. A history of infection with the hepatitis B virus puts individuals at risk of developing heptoma.
Cancer of the bile duct cells is called cholangiocarcinoma. Cholangiocarcinoma originates in the bile ducts and is often caused by infestation with the liver fluke Clonorchis (a parasite). The cancer grows along the bile ducts in sheets or lines, and is hard to find on X-ray studies.
Most cases of liver cancer are actually cancers that started in another organ. This is called metastases. Because of its very high blood flow and many biological functions, the liver is one of the most common places for metastases to grow. Tumors that originally arise in the colon, pancreas, stomach, lung or breast can spread to the liver.
Liver cancer is much more prevalent in many of the developing countries than in the industrialized world. Its incidence is highest in sub Saharan Africa, China, southern Asia, and Japan. Japan is the exception of the industrialized countries. China accounts for about 45% of the world's cases.
What Causes or Increases Risk for Liver Cancer?
Once cause of liver cancer is exposure to vinyl chloride. Other causes of liver cancer are unknown. However certain risk factors have been identified. The risk factors are: Chronic Hepatitis, Cirrhosis of the liver and liver flukes (parasites).
What are the symptoms of Liver Cancer?
A very early cancer will have little or no symptoms. It will have little or no symptoms because it is too small to cause any. As the cancer enlarges, it will have symptoms. The common symptoms are:
- Pain in the right upper abdominal area. Pain is caused by stretching of the liver's capsule.
- Weight Loss and loss of appetite.
- Breast swelling in males
- Blood clotting problems leading to intestinal bleeding and bruises on the skin.
How will my doctor know if I have liver cancer?
A. If liver cancer is suspected, the doctor will conduct a physical examination and a medical history. During a medical history, the patient will be asked questions about incidence of cancer in his/her family and other possible risk factors. Further tests help a doctor determine if cancer is causing symptoms. Some tests may include alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) blood test, ultrasonography (ultrasound), computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), angiography, laparoscopy and biopsy.
What are the side effects of treatment?
A. It is hard to limit the effects of therapy so that only cancer cells are destroyed. Because treatment often damages healthy cells and tissues, it can cause unpleasant side effects. The side effects of cancer treatment vary, depending on the type of treatment. Also, each patient reacts differently.
The side effects of surgery depend on the extent of the operation, the patient’s general health and other factors. Pain for the first few days after surgery is to be expected, but it can be controlled with medicine. People should feel free to discuss pain relief with the doctor or nurse.
Because it affects the whole body, chemotherapy is useful for treating liver metastases from other tumors. Chemotherapy damages rapidly dividing cells, like cancer cells. Unfortunately, other cells in the body, like hair follicle cells, cells lining the digestive tract, and blood-producing cells of bone marrow are also affected by chemotherapy, causing hair loss, nausea and vomiting, mouth sores, bruising and bleeding, increased chance of infection, and fatigue. Doctors can alleviate some of these symptoms with medication, so patients with side effects should inform their cancer care team. Recently, hepatic artery infusion has been studied as a treatment for HCC. This is a type of regional chemotherapy in which drugs are injected directly into the artery that supplies blood to the liver.
Radiation therapy is not often used because the entire liver, not just the tumor, is negatively affected by the radiation, and no real effect on survival has been shown.
Find out more information about other types of cancer here.
Name: Mr. C.K Soon
File No: 2332
Mr. Soon went for operation end of March 2009 for liver cancer. During the operation, 2/3 of his liver was removed and remaining 1/3 stop functioning. After the operation, his waistline increased by 300% because water cannot flow out from his body. During this time, he also had difficulty in breathing, bedridden and in a semi-coma state. Without any antibiotics and painkillers prescribed, he was asked to go home. For his family, there was no hope at all as they are prepared for the worse.
On the same night, all his brothers and sisters from Malaysia took herbs from The TOLE and drove down to Singapore. After medication, he could sit up and stand up. After 3 weeks of medication, he has decided to come to Kuala Lumpur to seek intensive treatment at The TOLE.
On 11 June 2009, he finally came to KL. Upon arrival, he is starting to feel dizzy, nausea, tired and his left ear cannot hear. He was advised to come for acupuncture 3 times per week and consume 2 times of herbs medication everyday for the next 3 months. Mr. Soonís final visit to The TOLE was on the 5th Sept 2009 whereby he has recovered and he went back to Singapore. After resting for another 2 months, Mr. Soon went back to work.
Exactly 1 year after his operation, he went back to the same hospital in Singapore for a medical checkup. The report indicates that he is now free from cancer. Despite being free from cancer, the hospital says that he must do chemotherapy. He later contacted The TOLE to seek Masterís opinion on the chemotherapy treatment. Master is strongly against chemotherapy and told him that it would be very disadvantage to his whole body and may risk his life by doing chemotherapy.
Although Mr. Soon was against doing chemotherapy, he was threaten by the hospital saying that if he doesnít do chemotherapy, cancer MAY come back. He took their advice and took chemotherapy. Mr. Soon was tortured like everybody else due to the side effects of chemotherapy and called Master for help. But he still continued and finishing the chemotherapy treatment cycle.
On 9th March 2010, Mr. Soon came back to KL to see Master for help due to deteriorating condition. Master told him that this time, it will be very difficult. He took treatment till 23 March 2010 and Master sent him back to Singapore. Soon after, he passed away. Thanks to Chemotherapy.