What is the difference between liver cancer and cirrhosis of the liver?

Liver cancer = Malignant tumor called Hepatoma; Cirrhosis = not functioning properly. Cirrhosis is fibrosis of liver.

Liver cancer manifests as a slowly growing malignant tumor in the liver that is parasitic. The cancerous cells are rapidly reproducing, and can ‘steal’ nutrients from what was supposed to go to the healthy cells.

Like any other malignant cancers, liver cancer can spread to other organs. Also, liver cancer sometimes has no causes.

Liver cancer is usually just a result of having another disease in the liver. Cirrhosis of the liver, viral infection and aflatoxins are just some of the common causes of liver cancer.

Common Signs and Symptoms:

  • abdominal pain
  • yellowish skin
  • nausea
  • abdominal mass
  • liver dysfunction

Cirrhosis of the liver, on the other hand, happens when the healthy liver tissues are slowly being replaced by dysfunctional scar tissues. Cirrhosis is a little more dangerous as it can show no symptoms during the early stages.

Cirrhosis of the liver is so damaging that there is a chance that it develops a complication, usually liver cancer or internal hemorrhage.

Cirrhosis is followed by chronic inflammation caused by alcoholism. But in non-alcoholic people, obesity, diabetes, hepatitis, cystic fibrosis, high blood pressure, gallstones, and many more may contribute to cirrhosis. Cirrhosis results into constriction of hepatic veins resulting into Portal hypertension giving rise to Ascites, Hemorrhoids, Esophageal Varices, splenomegaly, and visible abdominal veins.

Common Signs and Symptoms:

  • loss of appetite
  • fatigue
  • bruises
  • jaundice
  • fever
  • blood in the stool
  • Ascites, massive fluid build-up in the abdominal area
  • Splenomegaly.
  • brownish or orange tint to the urine
  • Ankle edema, fluid retention and swelling in ankles, legs.
  • Testicular atrophy & Gynecomastia in males.
  • Hemorrhoid & visible vein on lower abdomen
  • Esophageal Varices
  • personality changes
  • acute kidney injury

Sources: http://www.webmd.com/, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page

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