This article on how effective is chemotherapy for liver cancer will surely help you understand whether chemotherapy is beneficial for liver cancer or no. Let’s read ahead…
Before we understand can chemotherapy be helpful for liver cancer, let’s first understand the terms liver cancer and chemotherapy.
Hepatic cancer or liver cancer is a type of cancer which originates in the liver. Liver cancer is not a form of migrating cancer which starts from a different body organ and ultimately reaches the liver. The liver is located below the right lung and under the ribcage. It’s one of the largest organs of the human body and is divided in right and left lobes. Liver cancer occurs when malignant tumors form inside or on the liver. Males are more prone to liver cancer than females and some of the main causes of liver cancer are extensive alcohol consumption, having multiple sexual partners and injecting drugs with unhygienic needles.
Chemotherapy is mainly the use of medications used to treat cancerous cells and tumors. One of the most common form of chemotherapy medications is used for fighting cancerous cells is cytotoxic. Chemotherapy drugs interfere with the rapid multiplication of cancerous cells and try to stop their growth by killing them.
As chemotherapy drugs kill cancerous as well as living cells, many people frequently inquire how effective is chemotherapy for liver cancer. The answer is, the effectiveness of chemotherapy usually depends on which stage has liver cancer progressed and how much damage the cancerous cells have done to your liver. Chemotherapy is administered orally, intravenously or intra-arterially. Chemotherapy is usually given in the doctor’s clinic but in some cases can also be given in the patient’s home. The actual chemotherapeutic treatment is decided only after the doctor has checked the patient and understood the effect of the condition.
Side Effects of Chemotherapy for Liver Cancer
As cancer cells multiply and grow very rapidly, doctors use chemotherapy drugs so that they can destroy cancerous cells for good. But these drugs also pose a threat to the healthy living cells in the body, they damage normal healthy cells causing a lot of disturbances in the body. Chemotherapeutic drugs may also affect other important organs of the body. The various side effects that the body may suffer due to chemotherapy are nausea, fatigue, vomiting, anemia, hair loss, pain in the body, blood clotting, throat problems, diarrhea and constipation, fluid retention and other harmful effects on various organs of the body.
You may suffer from one of the above side effects or you may have some of them. The impact of these side effects mainly depends on the type of treatment you are taking. Before you opt for chemotherapy your doctor should explain all the possible side effects of the procedure. The good news is that in most cases new cells are formed once the chemotherapy session is over and there’s a higher chance they will function normally. The recovery time again depends on your overall health and the type of treatment you have received.
Liver cancer life expectancy is generally positive if the body has responded well to the various chemotherapy sessions. In most cases people have not faced any issues after their chemotherapy treatment has been over. However, in some cases chemotherapy drugs have caused permanent damage to the liver and in some cases chemotherapy has reduced the effects of liver cancer rather than treating it completely. Ask your doctor about all possible side effects of chemotherapy and then decide whether you want to opt for it or no.
Yes, chemotherapy is not a magical pill for treating liver cancer and many people don’t go for it after looking at the various side effects. But for many surviving cancer patients chemotherapy still provides a ray of hope as the field is undergoing a constant change for the betterment of cancer patients.