Hepatocellular carcinoma

A tumor in which the cancer starts during adulthood in cells in the liver. Also called adult primary liver cancer. Primary liver cancer is different from cancer that has metastasized (spread) from another place in the body to the liver. The signs and symptoms may include a hard lump just below the rib cage on the right side (from swelling of the liver), discomfort in the upper abdomen on the right side, pain around the right shoulder blade, or yellowing of the skin (jaundice). There is often an increase in the blood levels of alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) and alkaline phosphatase. A rapid deterioration of liver function may be the only clue to the presence of the tumor. Hepatocellular carcinoma is potentially curable by surgery, but surgery is the treatment of choice for only a small fraction of patients who have localized disease. Laparoscopy may detect metastatic disease, tumor in both lobes of the liver, or an inadequate liver remnant, and avoid the need for open surgery to explore the liver. Therapy other than surgery is best as part of a clinical trial. Such trials evaluate the efficacy of systemic or infusional chemotherapy, hepatic artery ligation or embolization, percutaneous ethanol (alcohol) injection, radiofrequency ablation, cryotherapy (freezing the tumor), and radiolabeled antibodies, often in conjunction with surgical resection (removal) and/or radiation therapy. The prognosis (outlook) depends on the degree of local tumor replacement and the extent of liver function impairment. Primary liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma) is the most common cancer in some parts of the world. It is still relatively uncommon in the US but its incidence is rising, principally in relation to the spread of hepatitis B and hepatitis C. People who have a disease of the liver called cirrhosis are also more likely to get adult primary liver cancer. Hepatitis B and C appear to be the most significant causes of hepatocellular carcinoma worldwide. People who have both hepatitis B and hepatitis C may be at a higher risk if they consume more than 3 oz. (80 grams) of alcohol a day. A first-degree relative with hepatocellular carcinoma also increases the risk.

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primary carcinoma of the liver cells; symptoms include hepatomegaly, abdominal pain, weight loss, jaundice, hemoperitoneum, and other symptoms of the presence of an abdominal mass. It is rare in North America and Western Europe but is one of the most common malignancies in parts of sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, East Asia, and elsewhere. A strong association seems to exist with chronic hepatitis B virus infection, and definite but less strong associations with some types of cirrhosis and hepatitis C virus infection. Called also hepatoma, malignant hepatoma, and hepatocarcinoma.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Hepatocellular carcinoma — Infobox Disease Name = Hepatocellular carcinoma Caption = Hepatocellular carcinoma in an individual that was hepatitis C positive. Autopsy specimen. ICD10 = ICD10|C|22|0|C|22 ICD9 = ICD9|155 ICDO = 8170/3 MedlinePlus = 000280 eMedicineSubj = med… …   Wikipedia

  • hepatocellular carcinoma — noun carcinoma of the liver • Syn: ↑hepatoma, ↑malignant hepatoma, ↑hepatocarcinoma • Hypernyms: ↑carcinoma …   Useful english dictionary

  • hepatocellular carcinoma — noun A type of liver cancer …   Wiktionary

  • hepatocellular carcinoma — hepatoma …   The new mediacal dictionary

  • hepatocellular carcinoma — A type of adenocarcinoma, the most common type of liver tumor …   English dictionary of cancer terms

  • Fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma — Infobox Disease Name = PAGENAME Caption = DiseasesDB = 34518 ICD10 = ICD10|C|22|0|C|22 ICD9 = ICD9|155 ICDO = ICDO|8171|3 OMIM = MedlinePlus = eMedicineSubj = med eMedicineTopic = 787 MeshID = Fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma is a form of… …   Wikipedia

  • Carcinoma, hepatocellular — A tumor in which the cancer starts during adulthood in cells in the liver. Also called adult primary liver cancer. Primary liver cancer is different from cancer that has metastasized (spread) from another place in the body to the liver. The signs …   Medical dictionary

  • Carcinoma — Infobox Disease Name = Carcinoma Caption = DiseasesDB = ICD10 = ICD9 = ICDO = OMIM = 8010/3 MedlinePlus = eMedicineSubj = eMedicineTopic = MeshID = D002277 A carcinoma is any malignant cancer that arises from epithelial cells. Carcinomas invade… …   Wikipedia

  • hepatocellular — adjective Date: 1940 of or involving hepatocytes < hepatocellular carcinoma > …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • carcinoma — Any of various types of malignant neoplasm derived from epithelial cells, chiefly glandular (adenocarcinoma) or squamous (squamous cell c.); the most commonly occurring kind of cancer. [G. karkinoma, fr. karkinos, cancer, + oma, tumor] Like other …   Medical dictionary

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