There are two main types of liver cancer, hematoma and cholangiocarcinoma.
Hematoma is a cancer of the hepatocytes, which are the main functioning cells of the liver. Hematoma is known as primary liver cancer. It usually grows in the liver as a ball-like tumor, invading the normal tissue surrounding it. A patient who has a history of hepatitis B or C virus who be at a higher risk for developing hematoma liver cancer.
The other type of cancer called cholangiocarcinoma is located in the bile duct. If is often caused by the infestation of a parasite. The cancer grows in the bile ducts in sheets and is difficult to find on an X-ray study.
In most cases, cancers of the liver originate in another organ, a process known as metastases. Because of a very high blood flow and the many biological processes performed by the liver is is a common organ for metastases to grow. Tumors that originate in the colon, the pancreas, the lung, stomach, or breast can all spread to the liver.
The main causes of liver cancer still remain unknown. Some of the most likely culprits remain toxins and chemicals in the environment, especially vinyl chloride (a toxic chemical compound used in manufacturing, also known as chloroethane and ethylene chloride. People are exposed to vinyl chloride by either breathing in air conditioning vinyl chloride or consuming water contaminated with it. Other risk factors are: chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis of the liver, and liver flukes (parasites).
Early stages of liver cancer have little or no symptoms. The reason is likely because it begins as such a small tumor, and is only discovered once it enlarges. Some of the common symptoms are:
- Pain in the right upper abdominal area.
- Weight loss and loss of appetite.
- Breast swelling in males.
- Jaundice or yellowing of skin and eyes.
- Blood clotting problems leading to internal bleeding and bruising on skin.
There appears to be a genetic risk factor with some forms of liver and kidney cancer. Today, it is widely accepted among researchers that external factors may be a leading cause of these cancers. External factors are carcinogens found in the environment, one’s diet, and personal habits. A variety of external factors that promote free radical formation in the human body include: pollutions, ultraviolet light, alcohol, cigarette smoke, margarine and other hydrogenated fats, radiation, and stress. The liver accumulates rather than eliminates toxins, and the cancer patient can eventually die from this excessive buildup of toxins. Detoxification programs are highly encouraged.
Since the liver is responsible for the production of cholesterol which confers an antioxidant effect on the body. Low cholesterol in the bloodstream–often awash with free radicals and toxins–can be invaluable in assessing liver function.
The use of oral contraceptives also appears to increase the risk of liver tumors. A case-controlled study of young women who died of cancer of the liver showed that the use of synthetic hormones (birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy) was associated with an elevated relative risk of hepatocellular carcinoma and that use for eight years or more was associated with significant higher risk.
Many foods, especially organically grown plant foods, contain many anti-carcinogens. Most natural anticarcinogens act as scavengers of reactive oxidative waste in the body by blocking or reducing free radical damage and as enzyme inhibitors, selectively blocking cancer-cell metabolism. It is wise to avoid gluten foods, too much sugar and dairy products. Eating meat, particularly red and white meat, can increase cancer risk. There are protease inhibitors in beans, rice, potatoes, and seeds that may revert cancerous cells to normal. Consuming higher amounts of fibrous foods such as raw cabbage juice, carrots, pineapple, watermelon and broccoli are more healthy choices. Researchers at john Hopkins University found that broccoli sprouts help detoxify carcinogens from the body reducing the risk of developing liver cancer.
Many alternative and conventional practitioners recommend the Gerson Diet as a cancer therapy to restore function of the oxidizing systems of the body. The Gerson Diet is a low-fat, nearly vegan (no animal products, including eggs or dairy) dietary regimen. Dr. Gerson, a German-American physician, found that he could reverse the majority of cancer in patients that came to him in the early part of the 20th century. Patients on the Gerson program supplement their main diet 10 times a day with freshly cut fruit (primarily apple) and vegetable juices (primarily carrot).
- CHOLAGOGUES (MILK THISTLE)
Cholagogues are unique natural herbs that protect the integrity of the liver and kidneys. Milk thistle also protects these organs from the possible toxic effects of chemotherapy (especially the drug Cisplatin). Milk thistle also has anti-oxidant activity protecting the organs from free-radical destruction and toxic environmental (xenoestrogens and xenobiotics) agents. This safe and effective herb also help to regenerate damaged or injured cells by promoting protein synthesis. Dosage: 100-600 mg daily. Other cholagogues include: DANDELION, and herb that stimulates production of bile from the liver; ARTICHOKE, a food that lowers cholesterol, increases bile flow, and helps ease digestive disturbances; CURCUMIN, an Indian herb that also increase bile flow and decrease inflammation; SCHISANDRA, a Chinese herb used to promote healthy liver function.
- WIDE RANGE OF ANTIOXIDANTS
All antioxidants are supplemented to help boost the immune system (especially during chemotherapy and radiation) and assist in decreasing free-radical damage while increasing the body’s natural killer cell activity.
- VITAMIN A (BETA CAROTENE, RETINOL) – Widely distributed in fruits and vegetables. They are important are important for normal cells growth and demonstrate high anti-carcinogenic activity, and a protective role in the etiology of colorectal adenomas. Beta carotene also may prevent neo-plastic transformation in humans. Dosage: 5,000-10,000 IU daily. NOTE: Lower doses are recommended because of the possible negative effect of mega doses of vitamin A on liver function.
- VITAMIN E (Tocotriensols) – A fat-soluble antioxidant shown to induce cell cycle arrest and increase T-helper cells. Dosage: 800-1,200 IU daily.
- VITAMIN C (with QUERCETIN) – There is directed evidence that vitamin C supplementation in synergy with quercetin can help to decrease the risk of developing cancer and possibly reduce metastasis. Dosage: 2,000-10,000 mg daily, or increased to bowel tolerance under the supervision of a qualified practitioner.
- SELENIUM – Studies continue to show that selenium is an important part of the body’s antioxidant defense system and has demonstrated its ability to protect cells exposed to toxins. Supplementation may decrease cancer incidence and decrease new adenoma formation. Dosage: 200 mcg daily.
- ESSIAC TEA
A unique blend of 4 herbs that have been combined to create a tea that has been known to have authentic anti-cancer for over 80 tears. Although Essiac Tea has never undergone randomized clinical trials, there have been hundreds and thousands of testimonials attesting to its efficacy. Dosage: A minimal protocol calls for one cup twice a day for 12 consecutive weeks.
- NATURAL ORGANIC GREEN FOODS
Green food constituents have an immune-boosting capacity and are extremely alkalizing to the body (cancer thrives in an acidic environment). Examples include Chlorella, Blue Green Algae, Spirulina, Barley, Carrots, Leafy green vegetables, Kamut and many other green nutrients. They may promote the activation of natural cancer-fighting substances in the body. Dosage: As directed on package.
- IP-6 CELL FORTE (INOSITOL HEXAPHOSPHATE)
A component of fiber found in highest concentrations in cereals and legumes, especially the brand part of wheat. IP-6 has antioxidant active, improves immunity, and may cause malignant cells to revert back to normal. Dosage: 1,600-4,800 mg daily.
- N-ACETYLCYSTEINE (NAC)
The antioxidant GLUTATHIONE is a major enzyme that protects the liver and kidney against free-radical destruction and other toxins produced by radiation and chemotherapy. Thus, it has been found that cancer patients mostly have low glutathione levels. Supplementing with NAC, a powerful antioxidant, is more stable in solid form (than glutathione) and is directly converted to glutathione inside the liver cells supporting detoxification of the liver. Dosage: As directed by a qualified practitioner. NOTE: When NAC was combined with the popular chemo drug Adriamycin, there was a reported boost of anti-tumor effectiveness.
- MEDICAL MUSHROOMS (MAITAKE)
In Eastern medicine, mushrooms have a tradition exhibiting strong anti-tumor activity. They contain beta-1,6 glucan with beta-1,3 chains, and have been proven to fight cancer by increasing immune-competent cell activity. There are cases in which medical mushrooms were given in combination with the drugs Cisplatin and Adriamycin, and blood results showed a 2.2-fold increase in T-cell helper cells. In some cases tumors disappeared all together. Dosage: Approximately 4 grams of Maitake mushrooms taken daily, or as directed by an experienced practitioner of medical mushrooms.
This Chinese herb appears to protect the liver against the harmful toxic effects of chemotherapy and may be effective in treating terminally-ill liver cancer patients. Most studies done in China have shown that astragalus increased the survival rates of most patients. Dosage: As directed on package.
- ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS (FLAX SEED OIL, FISH OIL, GLA)
The need for the body to have adequate levels of omega 3 essential fatty acids is vital for health and to keep the body free of inflammation in chronic diseases such as cancer. According to certain physicians, there is no one with cancer, AIDS, or heart disease who does not have an imbalance of essential fatty acids. A University of Pittsburgh study stated that Omega 3s inhibit the growth of certain types of cancers including liver and prostate cancer cells. Dosage: 1-4 grams daily, or as directed by your practitioner.
A tree that grows in the Amazon. Graviola has been tested by the National Cancer Institute and has been found to show active cytotoxicity against cancer cells. Dosage: As directed by a qualified health practitioner.
A traditional Japanese formulation comprised of seven Oriental herbs. The form al name is Sho-saiko-to or Liver Kampo. This product may be useful against cancer treatment if surgery is not an option. Dosage: As directed.
- CAT’S CLAW
A “panacea” herb used by the indigenous peoples of Peru which as been used in the treatment of cancer, arthritis, kidney disease, and other diseases. Cat’s claw has extensive antioxidant components and anti-tumor properties. Dosage: As instructed by a qualified practitioner.
- TUMERIC (CURCUMIN)
An active ingredient in the East Indian spice, turmeric (curcumin) is recognized as a natural chemotherapy agent. In reduces circulating PGE2 and eicosanoids. It also reduces estrogenic activity of certain environmental toxins. A recent study strongly suggested that curcumin may have a protective effect on Adriamycin myocardial toxicity. Recent studies suggest turmeric may ease radiation side effects such as burns and inflammation. Health proponents say that turmeric may prevent colorectal cancer, prostate, liver, and other cancers, and could help destroy early-stage tumors. It appears to inhibit tumor-promoting enzymes and interferes with the growth of cancerous tumors. Dosage: 500 mg 2-3 times a day. Do not take if pregnant, have gastrointestinal ulcers or gallstones.
Arginine is a conditionally essential amino acid that becomes increasingly necessary under conditions of stress, injury and disease. Arginine functions to enhance the immune system and inhibit cellular replication of tumors. Dosage: 500-1,500 mg daily.
- MANGOSTEEN FRUIT
Researchers at a general hospital in Taipei concluded that xanthones extracted from mangosteen rinds may be potentially useful in the treatment of lung, liver and stomach cancer. Dosage: As directed.
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