Medical Video: Hepatitis B - You Could Have It Too
Worldwide, chronic hepatitis infection is the cause of 80% of primary liver cancers that occur, and 500,000 of them die each year from this deadly cancer. Until now, only 10% of patients with primary liver cancer can survive up to 5 years. Terrible, right?
The good news is that there is now an effective type of vaccine against hepatitis B. In fact, the hepatitis B vaccine is the first vaccine known as an anti-cancer vaccine, because tackling hepatitis B also means tackling primary liver cancer caused by hepatitis B In addition, effective therapies are available to control and help sufferers of chronic hepatitis B to avoid liver cancer. But unfortunately, this vaccine cannot help protect liver cancer caused by chronic hepatitis C.
What is primary liver cancer?
There are 2 types of cancer that can occur in the liver, the first is called primary liver cancer, and the other is called secondary liver cancer. Primary liver cancer is liver cancer that originates from the liver, often this type of cancer is referred to as hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). While secondary liver cancer is liver cancer originating from other organs, then spread to the liver. Worldwide, primary liver cancer ranks third as the cancer that causes the most deaths.
Then, how can hepatitis B cause primary liver cancer?
People with chronic hepatitis B virus are very susceptible to liver cancer. In fact, people who have been infected with hepatitis B have a 100 times higher risk of developing liver cancer compared to people who aren't infected with hepatitis B. This occurs because the hepatitis B virus directly and continuously attacks the liver, which over time can cause damage to the liver and finally liver cancer.
The risk of developing liver cancer due to chronic hepatitis B increases again if the patient is old, or the patient has also been diagnosed with liver cirrhosis. Although liver cancer usually occurs after cirrhosis of the liver appears, it does not mean that cirrhosis of the liver is the trigger or cause of liver cancer. Primary liver cancer can also occur without the appearance of liver cirrhosis.
The risk of getting cancer is even higher if indeed the patient has a family history of liver cancer, high hepatitis B virus DNA that continues to attack, mixed with other infections such as HIV or hepatitis C, and a reckless lifestyle (such as consuming alcoholic beverages and smoking) . Some studies also show that obesity and diabetes can also trigger liver cancer. Liver cancer is more common in men than women, in any race and ethnicity.
Your signs have been attacked by liver cancer
Liver cancer is often referred to as "silent killer", Because usually, the patient will look healthy without any signs of health problems until liver cancer has almost reached its final stage. Sometimes, as big or small as the size of the tumor in the liver can not be detected due to the position of the liver protected by the ribs, so that the patient does not feel sick.
The pain is very rare, until the tumor size is really large. In end-stage liver cancer, when the tumor size is very large and accompanied by liver function that begins to break down, new health signs begin to appear. For example, stomach pain, weight loss, loss of appetite, weakness, eyes and yellow skin, and swollen stomach. People who experience signs like this should immediately contact a doctor for further examination and treatment.
The importance of undergoing screening heart cancer
As already explained, liver cancer kills secretly. Therefore, hepatitis B patients are encouraged to enter screening liver cancer into their medical check checks. Especially for patients suffering from chronic hepatitis B, screening Liver cancer is very important, because liver cancer can attack without signs of previous liver cirrhosis. The faster detected liver cancer, the more treatment options that can be taken, so that it can help increase the chances of survival.
Screening liver cancer is done by blood tests to determine levels of alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) every 6 months and ultrasound of the liver every 2 times a year. There are also doctors who choose to do MRI and CT scans rather than ultrasound. Once the patient is detected as having liver cirrhosis, or his family has a history of liver cancer descent, screening Routine liver cancer is highly recommended.
How to treat liver cancer
In particular, treatment of liver cancer is more difficult than other types of cancer, because liver cancer is usually accompanied by liver damage caused by hepatitis B virus attacks. Each patient individually must balance the risk of liver failure, various treatment options, and side effects of the drug. medicine itself. Current treatments include surgery, chemotherapy, and one drug that can be taken orally. Liver transplantation is the last choice if this liver cancer tumor can no longer be "removed" by surgery.
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