October is Liver Cancer Awareness Month (LCAM). Generally less well-known than other types of cancer, liver tumors are the fifth most common malignancy worldwide. And, despite ongoing research efforts, liver cancer is one of the few cancers with an incidence rate that is on the rise.
LCAM is a great time to learn more about the role of this important organ and how to keep it healthy. Currently, there is no liver cancer screening test that has proven to be reliable and cost-effective enough to justify its routine use in the generally public. Also, because liver cancer does not typically cause symptoms such as pain or weight loss until it reaches very advanced stages, the only way it can be detected in early stages is through a series of incidental tests.
With all of this in mind, the experts at Moffitt Cancer Center recommend a proactive plan for each person who is identified as having an elevated risk of developing liver cancer. This may include screenings performed on a regular basis, such as blood tests, ultrasounds or CT scans. Individuals who may benefit from this approach include those who have a history of:
- Hepatitis B or C
- Hereditary hemochromatosis (excess iron)
- Alcohol abuse
- Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
- Anabolic steroid use
When liver cancer is caught early, a patient generally has more treatment options and a better chance of achieving a good outcome and quality of life. For liver cancer diagnosis and treatment, many patients turn to Moffitt, one of the top liver cancer treatment centers in the nation. Our multispecialty team of experts, including experienced surgeons, interventional radiologists, hepatologists and medical oncologists, develops highly individualized treatment plans for patients who are diagnosed with all stages of liver cancer.
At Moffitt Cancer Center, no referrals are necessary to meet with our liver cancer team to discuss risk factors or seek a diagnosis. To learn more, call 1-888-MOFFITT or complete our new patient registration form online.