Hepatocellular Carcinoma

What is Hepatocellular Carcinoma?

Hepatocellular carcinoma is a condition that commonly arises in patients who are diagnosed with chronic liver diseases such as acute liver failure. Hepatocellular carcinoma is the most common kind of primary liver cancer. Primary cancers like Hepatocellular carcinoma originate from the patient’s liver itself.


 The symptoms of  Hepatocellular carcinoma include:

  • Sudden loss of weight
  • Poor appetite
  • Pain in the upper parts of the abdomen.
  • Feeling of nausea and vomiting
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Swelling in the abdomen
  • Jaundice
  • Pale coloured stools


The causes of Hepatocellular carcinoma are often unclear in some cases. However, in certain cases, it may develop due to chronic infection which is caused by the hepatitis virus. The disease may even develop due to certain abnormalities in the liver cells when they go through mutations. These clusters of cells may turn into a cancerous tumour.


The factors which increase the risk of Hepatocellular carcinoma in people include:

  • Infections caused by the Hepatitis virus.
  • Liver diseases like Cirrhosis, hemochromatosis and Wilson's disease.
  • Diabetes
  • Accumulation of fat in the liver.
  • Drinking and smoking.


There is no known prevention for this disease.

How is it diagnosed?

The disease can be diagnosed using the following tests:


How is it treated?

The doctor may try to control the symptoms and the complications of Hepatocellular carcinoma through medication or through surgical procedures.


  • Surgery

    The doctor conducts a surgery to remove the cancer from the patient’s liver.

  • Liver transplant surgery

    The doctor may opt for a liver transplant surgery in which he will remove the diseased liver and replace it with a healthy liver donated by another person.

  • Destroying the cancerous cells

    Cancer cells in the liver can be destroyed completely by subjecting them to extremely hot or cold conditions.

  • Chemotherapy

    In the procedure, the chemotherapy drugs are delivered to the liver with the help of a catheter.

  • Radiation therapy

    The doctor conducts a radiation therapy when a surgery can’t be conducted to treat the disease.

When do I contact the doctor?

The patient should be closely monitored for symptoms of Hepatocellular carcinoma. One should consult the doctor as soon as they start noticing any signs or symptoms of the disease in a person. The appropriate treatment and the associated side effects should be thoroughly evaluated and discussed with the doctor.  

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How does Medanta provide care?

Medanta ensures expert care for its patients who are diagnosed with Hepatocellular carcinoma at the Institute of Liver Transplantation and Regenerative Medicine. The Medanta Institute of Liver Transplantation and Regenerative Medicine is Asia’s ..

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