What is Stage 4 Liver Cancer?
Liver Cancer is one of the common forms of cancers in the world. The records have indicated that Liver Cancer is more dominant in men than women. Stage 4 Liver Cancer has been indicated as one of the most fatal cancer. It is sometimes referred as Metastatic Hepatic Carcinoma. The Stage 4 Liver Cancer is eventually the last stage of the cancer and the survival chances of the victim largely decrease at the stage due to complicated scenarios.
Picture 1 – Stage IV liver cancer. Source – uchospitals.edu
Picture 2 – morphology of liver in healthy, fatty, cirrhosis
Symptoms of Stage 4 Liver Cancer
Considering the nature of the disease it is very important to understand the symptoms of the stage 4 liver cancer, these are not only helpful to determine the course of treatment but also helps to stabilize the patient. It is to be noted that the symptoms of the Liver Cancer generally becomes clear in the Stage 4. These are the following symptoms.
- Weight loss is the most common symptoms of the Stage 4 Liver Cancer. However, the diet of the patient does not change.
- Appetite seems decreasing all the time for patients. It has been observed patient suffering from Stage 4 Liver Cancer get the feeling of no hunger just after small meal.
- Persistent Nausea and Vomiting keep the patient troubling all the time.
- Presence of jaundice is quite obvious in this stage. However, the intensity of the jaundice may vary for individuals.
- The body becomes extremely weak, and fatigue is very common among the sufferers.
- Fever is very common symptom for the Stage 4 Liver Cancer.
- Unbearable pain in the lower abdomen and close to right shoulder blade is very common at this stage.
- Enlarged Liver becomes the common symptom in the Stage 4. It feels like that a mass is stuck in the right side of the ribs.
- Enlarged Spleen also very common and it gives the sensation of mass stuck in the left side of the ribs.
- Swellings in various places like abdomen are very common. These are also called Ascites.
Even though the symptoms are very similar to any other liver infection, but the symptoms are very important to establish the Liver Cancer disease. The stage 4 is considered as the final stage of the Liver Cancer. The symptoms of the Liver Cancer may evolve and worsen with the progress of time.
Picture 3 – morphology of cancer in liver
Treatment of Stage 4 Liver Cancer
Treatment of the Liver Cancer Stage 4 depends upon the age, health and the complexities of the patient. Surgery is the most effective treatment for Stage 4 Liver Cancer. However, considering the size, and the position of the tumour, operation is not always possible. However, Radiofrequency Ablation is an option for treatment. The hepatic artery is blocked in the procedure so that cancerous cell cannot take nutrition from it due to blockage. After that chemotherapy or drugs are used on the blockage. However, the success of the treatment at this stage is very less. The Liver Transplantation is another option for the Stage 4; however, the success rate is very less again. If the tumour is small enough and has not spread outside the liver then, the liver transplantation can be considered very helpful treatment. Treatment from early stages may show betterment in the condition.
Survival Rate of Stage 4 Liver Cancer
Survival Rate of any cancer is the most important part. The Stage 4 Liver Cancer is not different as well. The survival rate for the Stage 4 is very less, and it is expected that only 4% people may survive. However, if proper attention is given and diagnosis of the Liver Cancer is detected at the earlier stages of the cancer then the survival rate of the patient increases a lot.
Life Expectancy of Stage 4 Liver Cancer
Life Expectancy of Stage 4 Liver Cancer is not very impressing at all. The stage is concerned as one of the most critical Liver Cancer. The impact of the Liver Cancer Stage 4 is very bad, and the condition gets worse with time. On average patient may survive for 6 months. However, if the complexity of Liver is less then, people may survive for even couple of years. However, the life expectancy of Stage 4 depends upon the condition of the people.
Prognosis of Stage 4 Liver Cancer
The prognosis of Liver Cancer Stage 4 is very poor when cancer is advanced into the complex situation. However, if the tumour size is small and also it is confined to the liver itself, then the situation is better. Ablative Therapies and Surgical Resection or Liver Transplantation can be curative, and patient can improve with the progress of time.
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