Hepatitis and Liver Disease: It’s Not Just about Cirrhosis

Is Hepatitis Really Just about Cirrhosis?

Is Hepatitis Really Just about Cirrhosis?. A.D.A.M.

The human liver is one of the most valuable internal organs of the human body. It is the organ that sieves nutrients while flushing out the free radicals known to damage our system. The liver is receptive to diseases such as cirrhosis, fibrosis, and cancer. Awareness about the diseases that can affect the liver is vital. Remember that liver cirrhosis is not the only condition that can affect the liver.

What is Hepatitis?
Hepatitis is a liver disease characterized by the inflammation, swelling or irritation of the liver cells due to a specific cause or origin. In essence, hepatitis may present as acute swelling or inflammation of the liver that can last for at least six months. If the inflammation persists for over 6 months, it is considered chronic hepatitis and it has several causes; usually, the cradle of disease is a group of viruses that include mononucleosis (Epstein-Barr) virus or varicella (chickenpox) virus. Hepatitis may also be sprung by alcohol, drug abuse or certain toxins from the environment. Additionally, individuals can also foster this condition from fat buildup in the liver, trauma, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis or autoimmune process, wherein the body engineers antibodies that attack the organ, also known as autoimmune hepatitis.

Viral hepatitis is also a common type of this condition.

Each year there are thousands of people that acquire this condition and the number may even be higher because not all cases are reported to the Center for Disease Control or other authoritative parties; this is usually because of misdiagnosis. There are five dissimilar forms of hepatitis that all strike your liver; however, they are contracted and transmitted in various ways and may also affect your liver by different means.

Additionally, most individuals with this condition can recover and develop immunity, but some may die from it eventually. Hepatitis C and B can progress if not immediately and adequately treated.

Understanding Liver Cancer
As the liver filters the blood which is slated to circulate throughout the entire body, it converts certain toxins into nutrients. The liver is very prone to cancer particularly because the blood that passes through it may contain cancer cells. Liver cancer is one of the primary liver diseases. Most liver cancers don’t actually commence from the liver itself, but from other parts of the body, possibly as the result of metastasis wherein the malignance originates from the breast, colon or kidney.

The liver is made of various types of cells, and numerous types of tumors can form in the area. Some can be noncancerous, or benign, and some are malignant; those can spread to other parts of the body and broaden their territory. Moreover, these tumors have several causes and thus need to be doctored differently.

Leiomyoma, fibroma, lipoma, cysts, focal nodular hyperplasia, hepatic adenoma and hemangioma are some of the types of cancer cells often making their home in the liver.

Physicians may recommend several types of treatment in treating cancer of the liver. It may also depend on the stage of cancer that the patient suffers from. Chemotherapy, surgery, radiotherapy and other types of treatments can be executed to treat the hepatic cancer. If the condition is already in an advanced stage, the therapy can be stringent in order to address the condition meritoriously.

Prevention of Liver Disease
Liver diseases such as cirrhosis, cancer and hepatitis are all difficult, especially if it is already in an advanced stage. That is why it’s imperative for one to use superlative preventative methods to avoid the condition. Alcohol and drug abuse stands among the causes of liver disease, so controlling your alcohol consumption, or better yet, quitting alcohol and drug usage is ideal to prevent yourself from developing a liver disease.

In the final analysis, hepatitis can be acquired in several ways, so be sure to take extra precaution, especially if you already bear it. If you have family members or relatives who experienced liver cancer, the risk of developing cancer could be very high, so be sure to sustain a wholesome lifestyle and chart a healthy diet. Prevention is very important to sidestep life-threatening health conditions that have pricey treatments, especially if the disorder in question is liver cancer.


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Lee YT, Geer DA. Primary liver cancer: pattern of metastasis. J Surg Oncol. 1987 Sep;36(1):26-31.

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