Liver cancer: Expert discusses symptoms and treatments
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The English film star was first diagnosed with early stage prostate cancer in February 2000, yet Sir Alec Guinness was given a good prognosis. Undergoing hormone treatment, the London-born star’s legs swelled, which medics assessed as inflammation of the veins, and he became bed bound. Losing his appetite, doctors finally diagnosed Sir Guinness with liver cancer and, after two days of his enlightening diagnosis, he died at the age of 86.
The NHS warns that a growing tumour in the liver “may not have any symptoms”.
Yet, if signs do emerge, contact your doctor straight away; symptoms might include jaundice.
Jaundice is when the whites of the eyes turn yellow, the skin may feel itchy, and faeces may be “paler than usual” alongside darker urine.
There can be a loss of appetite, or a person who has the cancer could be losing weight without adjusting their diet or physical activity regime.
Cancer can cause a person to feel lethargic, as if they have no energy, and the disease can make someone feel generally unwell.
Also take note if there is a “lump in the right side of your tummy” which could be a sign of liver cancer.
Furthermore, there might be a feeling of nausea, symptoms of indigestion, and pain in the right shoulder.
The NHS adds: “These symptoms are very common and can be caused by many different conditions.
“Having them does not definitely mean you have liver cancer. But it’s important to get them checked by a GP.”
The sooner any type of cancer is diagnosed, the better the prognosis is likely to be.
This is because treatment can start earlier, and the tumour has less of a chance of spreading elsewhere in the body.
While anybody can develop liver cancer, there are certain factors that increase a person’s risk of disease.
These include being over the age of 60, having hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, gallstones, or diabetes.
In order to minimise your risk of liver cancer, the NHS recommends:
- Lose weight if you’re overweight
- Cut down on alcohol
- Quit smoking.
“Anyone can get liver cancer, even if you do not think you have a higher chance of getting it,” the NHS states.
Signs of prostate cancer only come to light when the tumour is pressing against the urethra, which is the tube that carries urine out from the body.
If this occurs, signs of prostate cancer can include an increased need to urinate, straining while urinating, or feeling as though your bladder hasn’t fully emptied.
These symptoms could be a sign of a non-cancerous enlarged prostate, but it’s best to get it checked out by a medical doctor.
Prostate enlargement is linked to hormonal changes as a man grows older, especially when he is 50 and older.
Sir Alec Guinness stars in Malta Story, which airs on Monday, October 10 at 12:55pm on Film4.
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