Hepatocellular carcinoma is one of the most dangerous of all cancers. Also known as liver cancer, in the simplest terms, it is generally called a “silent killer.” This is due to the fact that the patient shows no symptoms or very few, that the cancer is in the initial stage. This gives cancer the opportunity to spread and grow. There are four stages of liver cancer, which help determine the extent of cancer in it. Of these stages, the last stage, that is, phase 4 is the most fatal.
What leads to liver cancer?
Liver cancer depends on the age, sex, family history, ethnicity and other health factors of each patient. A person who is a chronic or alcoholic smoker is more likely to develop liver cancer. People who have repeated infections of hepatitis B, hepatitis C, liver cirrhosis, etc., are also at risk of liver cancer. People who drink water contaminated with arsenic or are exposed to aflatoxins and are found in anabolic steroids, are also more likely to develop liver cancer.
The symptoms of stage 4 liver cancer Liver
cells are called hepatocytes, which help detoxify the body and process harmful chemicals. When normal hepatocytes begin to grow rapidly, uncontrollably and proliferate abnormally, they lead to the formation of cancer or a tumor. During the final stage (stage 4) of cancer, these cancer cells migrate to other parts of the body and the cancer spreads. This is known as metastasis. The symptoms of liver cancer in stage 4 are the following:
Liver cirrhosis, indicates that the cancer has reached its final stage. During cirrhosis, the liver stops fulfilling its normal function. The only cure for cirrhosis at this time is liver transplantation. Cirrhosis leads to portal hypertension. This causes an increase in blood pressure between the spleen and the liver. Therefore, more blood flows through the esophagus and stomach. This increases the chances of internal bleeding, an enlarged spleen, low platelet count, etc. Cirrhosis causes insulin resistance and this leads to stage 2 diabetes.
When normal liver functions are no longer performed, this leads to hepatic encephalopathy. Toxins and waste increase in the body and cause confusion, memory loss, personality changes, agitation, sleep disorders, lack of concentration, coma, etc. In addition, problems occur in the lungs and renal failure.
Veins in the lower part of the esophagus, that is, esophageal varices become abnormally large. An obstruction in the normal flow of blood to the liver causes esophageal varices. This produces a backup of the blood flow in the smaller vessels of the esophagus, stomach, rectum, etc., which lead to inflammation. These blood vessels are very fragile and can break under pressure. This will lead to internal bleeding, which can become a life-threatening situation. The blood in the stool, the blood in the vomit, the dizziness and the state of commotion can be observed, because of an internal hemorrhage.
An acute inflammation in the abdomen is known as ascites. This is due to liver failure and produces abdominal pain in the upper right quadrant. Excessive fluid retention causes the abdominal part to increase in size. This causes a pressure on the upper body, which causes pain in the shoulders and back. The patient is more prone to develop bacterial peritonitis, because of excessive retention of fluids in the stomach.
One of the symptoms of stage 4 cancer is jaundice, which is hard to miss. The skin and cornea of the eyes turn yellow due to jaundice. This is due to the inability of the liver to remove bilirubin from the body. Red blood cells die and break down in bilirubin. When bilirubin is not expelled from the body, it leads to dark colored urine and systemic toxins, which produce itchy skin and yellowing of the skin.
Spontaneous bleeding Spontaneous
bleeding from various parts of the body is a sign of liver cancer in the terminal phase. The liver stops cleaning the blood and this causes the accumulation of dead cells in the body. This leads to an increase in prothrombin in the blood, which increases the chances of sudden and unexplained bleeding. One begins to bleed from the nose, gums, oral mucosa, etc.
Decreased lung capacity
Stage 4 of liver cancer spreads to other parts of the body, such as the lungs. These cancer cells travel through the blood or lymph vessels throughout the body. When these cells colonize the lungs, they cause secondary tumors. This causes disruption of normal lung function and decreased air capacity. This leads to difficulty breathing and shortness of breath.
Cancer cells with bone metastases cause very severe pain. The patient experiences a sharp pain in the common parts and other parts of the body. This causes many problems when performing daily activities.
The prognosis of liver cancer in stage 4
The treatment of liver cancer in stage 4 consists of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and liver transplantation (in rare cases). However, these treatments are not very effective, since cancer has already spread throughout the body. They only help prolong the patient’s life. The prognosis of liver cancer in phase 4 shows that this disease lacks any cure. Sedatives and pain relievers will only help relieve discomfort, pain and help the patient get some relief.
The level of survival during stage 4 liver cancer
The level of survival is calculated by the number of patients, who survive the cancer in a period of 5 years after diagnosis. The level of liver cancer survival in phase 4 is very low and only 4% of patients survive 5 years. The survival level for metastatic liver cancer, unfortunately, is 0%, even after a liver transplant.
As you can see, the symptoms of liver cancer, in stage 4, are very painful and bothersome. Each patient is different and so is the level of survival. It is important to diagnose liver cancer during the initial stages. Stage 4 of cancer is the final stage and only the care, love and support of friends and family will help the patient to have the rest of his life calm and easy.