Liver Cancer in Children – Causes and Treatments - Nepal Medicos Times
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Liver Cancer in Children – Causes and Treatments

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Liver cancer is rare in children, with only about 100 to 150 cases a year. Of the 100,000 children under the age of 14, only about 2 to 3 have liver cancer, and boys are more likely to be ill than girls. Hepatocellular carcinoma and Hepatoblastoma.

Learn about hepatoblastoma and hepatocellular carcinoma

Hepatoblastoma usually occurs in children under 3 years of age, and 90% of children of this age group suffer from liver cancer. Although hepatoblastoma is rare, the survival rate of hepatocytoma can be significantly improved if children have hepatocytoma earlier detection.
Hepatocellular carcinoma is the most common type of liver cancer in adults, starting with liver cells. Hepatocellular carcinoma can occur at any age, but in adolescent children, hepatocellular carcinoma, it is more common than in children.

Causes of Liver Cancer in Children

  • Hepatitis: generally associated with hepatitis B, hepatitis C
  • Hereditary diseases: often occur in low birth weight infants. In addition, some rare genetic diseases increase the risk of developing hepatoblastoma in children.
  • Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome: This disease is characterized by umbilical extrusion, giant tongue, giant body, a congenital overgrowth disease, which affects the whole body organs.
  • Family history of polyps: this is a rare genetic disease of the Gastrointestinal tract.
  • Hemihypertrophy: This refers to all of one side of the body, or part of one side, developing faster than the other.

As the liver tumor grows larger, the following symptoms appear:

  • Tumors or swelling of the abdomen (pain may or may not be felt).
  • Weight loss.
  • Anorexia.
  • Nausea, vomiting.
  • Boys enter puberty early (hormonal increases due to tumors).

Treatment of liver cancer in children

Hepatoblastoma is easier to treat than hepatocellular carcinoma. The best method is to be surgically removed. If the tumor is large, your doctor will discuss it with a chemotherapy physician before surgery. If surgery is possible, the success rate of treatment is about 90%. In addition, hepatocellular carcinoma has a poor response to chemotherapy and a relatively low success rate. If surgery is not possible in the case of liver cancer, a liver transplant can be considered.
If the tumor is too large to be removed, after 3 to 4 months of chemotherapy, the size of the tumor can still be reduced. The best way is to carry out a liver transplant as soon as possible. Studies show that about 60% to 80% of children can live another 10 years after a liver transplant.

Side effects of treatment of liver cancer in children

Treatment of liver cancer usually has some side effects. Pediatricians will inform you about the side effects and problems before they decide to undergo surgery. Side effects may include the following:
  • Physical discomfort, e.g. nausea, wanting to spit.
  • hair loss
  • Increased risk of infection, bleeding, fatigue and diarrhea.
The side effects that may occur when children are older include hearing problems, kidney disease, and heart abnormalities. Children in the future, also slightly more risk, may suffer from other types of cancer. Some children experience different side effects as they age, so they must be monitored at all times.