When you are diagnosed with any form of cancer, it is important to consume a nutritious and a healthy diet. Just as there are foods that help you battle this disease, there are certain foods that create more problems for you.
According to the American Cancer Society, around 39,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with liver cancer every year. Liver cancer occurs when the cells in the liver begin to grow out of control. The largest internal organ in the body, the liver is responsible for filtering your blood and removing the toxins and waste products from the body. It is the liver that converts the drugs and nutrients absorbed by the digestive tract into the essential chemicals. Located just beneath your right lung, all the blood in the body must pass through this organ for filtration purposes. Therefore, if there are any cancerous cells in your bloodstream, they will travel to the liver at some stage.
Most of the cases of liver cancer are metastatic or secondary, which means that the cancer starts somewhere else in the body and spreads to the liver. Primary liver cancer or cancer that starts in the liver only makes up for 2 percent of the cancer cases in the United States. People diagnosed with this form of cancer tend to be older, with the average age of 67 years. In the US, liver cancer is more common in men than women, with twice as many men suffering from this type of cancer.
As the liver is made up of different kinds of cells, there are various different types of cancer that one can suffer from. Some of these can be benign, while others are cancerous and spread to the other parts of your body. Hemangioma, cysts, fibroma, hepatic adenoma, and lipoma are some examples of benign tumors. Benign tumors are not generally treated as liver cancer and are surgically removed when they cause bleeding or pain. Livers that are damaged by alcohol abuse, birth defects, cirrhosis, or hepatitis have a tendency of developing hepatocellular carcinoma, a form of primary liver cancer. It is critical to know what type of tumor you have because the treatment plan depends on it.
Some of the treatment options available for liver cancer include surgery, radiation therapy, tumor ablation, target therapy, tumor embolization, and chemotherapy. The ideal treatment method for you will depend upon your overall health, side effects of the treatment, and the chances of curing the disease or relieving the symptoms.
While battling any form of cancer, eating healthy food may be the last thing on your mind. The disease as well as the treatment methods takes a toll on your body and often makes you lose your appetite. The same is true with liver cancer. However, it is very critical that you eat healthy and nutritious food in order to maintain your weight as well as to have the strength to battle liver cancer. While healthy foods will give you the strength required, there are some types of food that will harm your liver further. Some of the foods that must be avoided when you are suffering from liver cancer include:
The main aim of changing your diet is to go easy on your liver so eating processed food is a definite no-no. The director of the Helfgott Research Institute in Portland, Heather Zwickey, said, “Because the liver is responsible for detoxification, a liver cancer patient should avoid processed foods and foods that have lots of chemicals. Choose foods that are natural and organically grown because you don’t want your body to try to process pesticides”. Therefore, it is very important that you avoid processed foods like hot dogs, bacon, and even pasta.
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