Today's news about Liver Cancer - a Silent Killer
Historically, we have associated the words “silent killer” with hypertension. Why? Because high blood pressure can go undetected until it is too late. It can develop over time and not be cured. But, with proper medical care, many with hypertension can lead normal lives. The advances in cardiovascular interventions, in pharmacological research, in dietary discoveries have been remarkable over the past twenty years. So is hypertension a silent killer? Yes, it can be, for sure…but I am here to tell you about one for which there is no cure, and which can sneak up on someone who is otherwise healthy as a proverbial horse.
Today’s news revealed that the increase in deaths from liver cancer has increased 43% over the past 16 years. Where deaths from other cancers have declined, liver cancer deaths have moved from the #9 oncological killer to #6. Why? Surely tests can detect liver cancer, right? Aren’t there palpable lumps? How about changes in moles? Lesions? Problems breathing? Pain?
Nope. Yes, there are definitely conditions, both physiological and environmental, that can cause the development of this deadly carcinoma. We all know that heavy drinking can lead to cirrhosis, the scarring of the liver that can result in liver cancer. Certain types of hepatitis can cause liver cancer. Of course, the “jury” is out on such environmental causes such as exposure to toxins, such as insecticides or Agent Orange. But did you know that a leading cause of liver cancer is obesity? NAFLD, or Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease, can lead to cirrhosis and is often the result of obesity, particularly heavy “gut” width.
There is no cure for liver cancer. Discovered early, it can be staved off with a transplant or resection or chemotherapy or another immunotherapy protocol. That’s the catch, though. Discovered early. Since it tends to have no symptoms, and its victims feel fine until it is pretty much too late, that early discovery is not particularly common. And even so, the outlook is dire.
I know. I just lost my otherwise healthy husband, my partner and soulmate of 40 years, to undetected liver cancer. In February, although he felt pretty good overall, he complained of some puffiness in his abdomen so on February 8 he went to his primary care provider who ran some tests…those tests led to a CT scan…that scan led to a biopsy and he was diagnosed on February 26. He saw the local oncologist on March 9, then went to the Mayo Clinic for a second opinion on April 5 and died at home on April 26. Two months from diagnosis! He was fit and trim for the last years of his life but had battled weight issues for many years. He never knew he was fighting a battle that would result in his prematurely and suddenly leaving behind a loving wife, two adoring daughters and a six-week old grandson among others, all just three months before he was supposed to be celebrating his 70th birthday on a surprise Alaska cruise.
So, what’s the point, you ask? A lot of people are suffering loss, grief, sadness and despair.
Here is the point. As I wandered through the grocery store today, I was reminded that we are an obese society. I looked at fat (sorry, but it is time to call a spade a spade) moms with their fat kids in tow, with shopping carts filled to the brim with chips, cookies, soda, ice cream, fried foods and candies. There wasn’t a lettuce leaf, broccoli bunch, celery stalk or piece of fresh fruit to be seen. These same moms were among those exhilarated by the relatively recent opening of yet another fast food restaurant in the area (there are now eight, yes eight fast food restaurants in less than a quarter-mile area). These kids can’t walk, let alone run. They can’t play sports, they sit with their tablets and smartphones and play hide and seek in a virtual world instead.
And they are ALL candidates for NAFLD later on in life. Sure, they all know about diabetes and the tendency of the obese to become Type 2 diabetics. And, I guess, they figure a lot of people are diabetic. But do they know they might. maybe, possibly, end up with a silent killer other than the high blood pressure the may be caused by their controllable habits? That even if they never touch a drop of alcohol in their lives the development of liver disease caused by their obesity can actually kill them later and rob them of knowing their children or grandchildren or keep them from celebrating milestone birthdays?
Yes, I am angry. I am angry that I lost the love of my life without warning. I am angry there was no way to diagnosis his silent killer before it found its voice. I am angry that no one ever told him his weight problems as a younger man might result in a problem other than hypertension. But I am angrier even now that the knowledge IS out there. That the education IS out there. That the warnings ARE out there. And still the carts are filled with soda and chips and the kids can’t walk to their parents’ cars without gasping for air.
I would have sold my soul to have had the knowledge that might have saved my husband’s life. It wasn’t available “back in the day”. It sure is now. So wake up and smell the facts. Liver cancer is a silent killer and could be coming for you if you don’t watch out.
Fitnesswi1 Member Posts: 1edited October 2018 #2Liver Cancer
This is truly the harsh reality of this fking disease.
I am a healthy 66 year old that has exercised most of my life in the gym and cycling. Was initially diagnosed with esophegal cancer that spread to my liver. Did Chemo with Carboplatin and 5 FU that went really well for 5 sessions. PET showed cleared with slight shadows on liver and primary tumor. Suffice to say that I never lost any weight and have no symptoms. They are now telling me that I have to do immunotherapy with Keytruda. I don't have insurance and cant afford the $10K every 3 weeks. The Oncologist initially said Taxol and Cyramza but changed to Keytruda. I am preparing for the worst as I am due to do a PET next week. This is heart wrenching, not so much for me but for my family. I am however being strong for my family and could only trust and hope that my good health pulls me out of this terrible mess to see my grands0
i have NAFLD that has turned
i have NAFLD that has turned to NASH. I fear this everyday. I'm overweight, it is a struggle, and let me tell you, just 10 years ago, doctors poopood NAFLD, said it was no big deal. Well it is. And now my husband is newly diagnosed with Liver cancer, just 3 weeks ago, in addition to heart failure. I pray everyday for him. but now i feel i need to get my act together and stop this obesity trend of mine.
sorry, i'm rambling here. Still in shock with my husband's new diagnosis (and he was not fat ever), but had/has other health issues.
- 120.1K All Discussion Boards
- 6 CSN Information
- 6 Welcome to CSN
- 120.3K Cancer specific
- 2.8K Anal Cancer
- 437 Bladder Cancer
- 302 Bone Cancers
- 1.6K Brain Cancer
- 28.3K Breast Cancer
- 384 Childhood Cancers
- 27.8K Colorectal Cancer
- 4.6K Esophageal Cancer
- 1.1K Gynecological Cancers (other than ovarian and uterine)
- 12.7K Head and Neck Cancer
- 6.3K Kidney Cancer
- 654 Leukemia
- 772 Liver Cancer
- 4.1K Lung Cancer
- 5K Lymphoma (Hodgkin and Non-Hodgkin)
- 228 Multiple Myeloma
- 7.1K Ovarian Cancer
- 39 Pancreatic Cancer
- 481 Peritoneal Cancer
- 5.1K Prostate Cancer
- 1.2K Rare and Other Cancers
- 528 Sarcoma
- 699 Skin Cancer
- 640 Stomach Cancer
- 190 Testicular Cancer
- 1.5K Thyroid Cancer
- 5.7K Uterine Cancer
- 6.2K Other Discussion Boards