Liver cancer is emerging as one of the fastest spreading cancers in India.
“We get about 10 new liver cancer cases in our hospital every week, and in the past two years, we have seen 360 people suffering from liver cancer,” said Dr SK Sarin, director, ILBS, during a two-day (April 7-8) international symposium organised by the institute on liver cancer in the Capital.
The good news, however, is that almost 50% see a specialist in a treatable condition as opposed to 10% about two decades ago. “Early detection always helps in better treatment outcome. We urge high-risk category people to get screened regularly, and see a liver specialist if cancer is diagnosed,” said Dr Sarin.
Those having a family history of hepatitis B or C, diabetics and alcoholics fall under the risk category. If your mother is Hepatitis B positive, then you need to be extra careful.
Hepatitis B and C used to be the most common causes for liver disease in India that led to liver cancer later. Since past few years, alcohol has also added to the list. Nearly 1 million people suffer from chronic liver disease because of alcohol.
For diabetics, who are over-weight and consume alcohol, the chances of getting liver cancer increases by eight fold. “Diabetics have two-and-a-half times more chances of developing chronic liver disease,” said Dr Sarin.
Around the world, too, acute liver disease accounts for 40% of deaths from cirrhosis and 30% of the cases of liver cancer.Advances in medical science have led to new treatment options for liver cancer patients. "Blocking blood supply to the tumour and administering chemotherapy directly to the tumour called trans-arterial chemo embolization; radiation surgery, using a radiation beam to cut the tumour are proving very beneficial," said Dr KK Madhavan, liver specialist from Singapore.