Detected liver cancer after a week of right flank pain

HANOI A 66-year-old man has been suffering from hepatitis B for many years. For about a week now, he has had dull pain in his right upper quadrant, ultrasound results have found liver cancer.

On July 2, Doctor Pham Cam Phuong, director of the Center for Nuclear Medicine and Oncology, Bach Mai Hospital, said that the patient has been taking antiretroviral drugs for a year, and no one in the family has a chronic disease. Test results diagnose hepatocellular carcinoma, reflux esophagitis.

The doctor appoints chemotherapy embolization of liver tumors in combination with drug treatment of hepatitis B virus, when the condition is stable, surgery will be performed.

After one month of treatment according to the above regimen, the patient got better but refused surgery, continuing to monitor periodically.

X-ray image of the patient's abdomen showing the location of liver cancer. Photo: Provided by the hospital

Primary liver cancer or hepatocellular carcinoma is a tumor arising from the cells of the liver parenchyma. It is the 6th most common cancer in the world and the second leading cause of cancer death in humans.

According to GLOBOCAN 2020, liver cancer ranks first in both incidence and mortality in Vietnam. 77% of liver cancer cases are in men and can occur at any age. Causes are often related to viral hepatitis B, C, alcoholic cirrhosis, aflatoxin toxicity.

There are many treatment methods for primary liver cancer, depending on the patient's condition, tumor size, lymph node metastasis status, distant metastasis. Surgery plays a key role, in addition, doctors can use other methods such as embolization, radiofrequency ablation, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, symptomatic relief, targeted therapy...

Early-stage liver cancer often has no obvious symptoms, so it is difficult to detect or easily confused with many other diseases. In the late stage, the patient is tired, weight loss, pain and swelling in the upper right upper quadrant abdomen, ascites (enlarged abdomen), enlarged liver, jaundice, dark urine, acne-prone skin, itching. In particular, symptoms of jaundice, right abdominal pain, weight loss, fatigue, and loss of appetite are the most common.

Doctors recommend that men over 40 years old who have cirrhosis of the liver due to drinking a lot of alcohol, hepatitis B and C viruses, should have regular checkups to detect lesions early. Vaccinate against hepatitis B, avoid exposure to toxic chemicals that can damage the liver. Screening for liver cancer every 6-12 months to detect abnormal lesions early.

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