Birth control pills causing Liver Cancer

Types of oral contraceptives used in the past were linked to some varieties of liver cancer, but rarely to HCC.   Most of these types of oral contraceptives are no longer available, and it is unknown if those now in use increase risk for HCC.

What is liver cancer?

The liver is the largest internal organ of the body. It is located on the right side of the abdomen, beneath the right lung, and is protected by the lower ribcage. The liver performs many functions that are necessary for survival. Several types of tumors, both benign (non-cancerous) and malignant (cancerous) can develop in the liver. The most common type of liver cancer is hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). It accounts for 84 percent of primary liver cancers (cancer that originates in the liver). The liver can...

What are the side effects of treatment for Colorectal Cancer?

It is often hard to limit the effects of therapy so that only cancer cells are removed or destroyed. Because healthy tissue may also be damaged, treatment can cause unpleasant side effects. The side effects of cancer treatment are different for each person, and they may even be different from one treatment to the next. Doctors try to plan treatment in ways that keep side effects to a minimum, and they can help with any problems that occur. For this reason, it is very important to let the doctor know about a...

What should I know before surgery for Colorectal Cancer?

What should I know before surgery for Colorectal Cancer?These are some questions you may want to ask the doctor before surgery: What kind of operation will it be? How will I feel afterward? If I have pain, how will you help me? Will I need a colostomy? Will it be temporary or permanent? How long will I be in the hospital? Will I have to be on a special diet? Who will teach me about my diet? When can I return to my regular activities? Will I need additional treatment?

Radiation Therapy for Colorectal Cancer

Radiation therapy (also called radiotherapy) is the use of high-energy rays to damage cancer cells and stop them from growing. Like surgery, radiation therapy is local therapy; it can affect cancer only in the treated area. Radiation is sometimes used before surgery to shrink a tumor so that it is easier to remove. More often, radiation therapy is given after surgery to destroy any cancer cells that may remain in the area. It may also be given to relieve pain or other problems in patients whose tumors canno...

Chemotherapy for Colorectal Cancer

Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy is sometimes given after surgery for colorectal cancer to try to prevent the disease from recurring, or coming back. This additional treatment is called adjuvant therapy. The doctor may use one drug or a combination of drugs. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are sometimes given to shrink the tumor prior to surgery. Chemotherapy is usually given in cycles: a treatment period followed by a recovery period, then another treatment period, and...

Surgery for Colorectal Cancer

Surgery is the most common treatment for colorectal cancer and may be the only treatment needed. The type of operation depends on the location and size of the tumor. Most patients have a partial colectomy. In this operation, the surgeon takes out the part of the colon or rectum that contains the cancer and a small amount of surrounding healthy tissue. Usually, lymph nodes near the tumor are removed during surgery to help the doctor be more accurate about the stage of the cancer. In most cases, the surgeon r...

What about a second opinion for Colorectal Cancer?

Treatment decisions are complex. Sometimes it is helpful for patients to have a second opinion about the diagnosis and the treatment plan. Some insurance companies require a second opinion; others provide coverage for a second opinion at the patient’s request. There are several ways to find another doctor to consult: Your doctor may be able to suggest a doctor who specializes in treating colorectal cancer. Specialists who treat this disease include surgeons, medical oncologists, gastroenterologists and radi...

What do I need to know about the treatment for colorectal cancer?

The doctor develops a treatment plan to fit each patient’s needs. Treatment for colorectal cancer depends on the size and location of the tumor, the stage of the disease, the patient’s general health, and other factors. Most people who have cancer want to learn all they can about the disease and their treatment choices so they can take an active part in decisions about their medical care. It helps to make a list of questions before seeing the doctor. Here are some questions you may want to ask before treatm...

How will I be diagnosed for colorectal cancer?

To find the cause of symptoms, the doctor will ask about your personal and family medical history. He will do a physical exam, and may order laboratory tests. In addition to the exams discussed above, the doctor may also order the following tests: Lower GI series – X-rays of the colon and rectum (the lower gastrointestinal tract). The x-rays are taken after the patient is given an enema with a white, chalky solution containing barium. (This test is sometimes called a barium enema.) The barium outlines the c...

What are the symptoms of colorectal cancer?

Colorectal cancer can cause many symptoms. Warning signs to watch for include: Change in bowel habits Diarrhea or constipation Blood in or on the stool (either bright red or very dark in color) Stools that are narrower than usual General stomach discomfort (bloating, fullness and/or cramps) Frequent gas pains A feeling that the bowel does not empty completely Weight loss with no known reason Constant tiredness These symptoms also can be caused by other problems such as ulcers, an inflamed colon or hemorrhoi...

What can I do to detect it?

Most health problems respond best to treatment when they are diagnosed and treated as early as possible. This is especially true of colorectal cancer. Treatment is most effective before the disease spreads. People can take an active role in the early detection of colorectal cancer by following these guidelines: During regular checkups, have a digital rectal exam. For this exam, the doctor inserts a lubricated, gloved finger into the rectum and feels for abnormal areas. Beginning at age 40, have an annual fe...

The risk factors for developing colorectal cancer?

Some people are more likely to develop colorectal cancer than others. Studies have found that certain factors increase a person’s risk. The following are risk factors for this disease: Polyps – Most (perhaps all) colorectal cancers develop in polyps. Polyps are benign, but they may become cancerous over time. Removing polyps is an important way to prevent colorectal cancer. Age – Colorectal cancers occur most often in people who are over the age of 50, and the risk increases as people get older. Family hist...

How do I prevent colon-rectal (colorectal) cancer?

How do I prevent colon-rectal (colorectal) cancer?Although colorectal cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in the United States, scientists are trying to learn more about what causes the disease and how it can be prevented. Doctors do not yet know why one person gets colorectal cancer and another does not, but they do know that no one can catch colorectal cancer from another person. Cancer is not contagious. People can lower their risk of getting colorectal cancer. For example, those who have colorectal polyps (nodular growths of tissue develop...

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