What is Clear Cell Hepatocellular Carcinoma?Clear cell hepatocellular carcinoma is a rare type of liver cancer that accounts for 10% of all liver cancers. It is more common in females than males. Clear cell hepatocellular carcinoma tends to develop cirrhosis but has a better prognosis (probable course of the disease) than other types of liver cancer. Cirrhosis is the last stage of liver cancer, in which healthy liver tissue is replaced by scar tissue; scar tissue disrupts the normal functioning of the liver.
Disease Etiology (Causes)The reason is no well-known cause. However, certain genetic mutations (gene changes) and the presence of risk factors, such as excessive alcohol consumption, excessive or unnecessary use of iron and steroidal medicines, obesity, and diabetes mellitus present or past hepatitis B or Hepatitis C infection.
Signs and SymptomsTypically, clear cell hepatocellular carcinoma is diagnosed as a mass in the abdomen with no specific signs or symptoms or no signs or symptoms at all. However, in some cases following signs and symptoms can be observed. These are
- Loss of appetite
- Yellowish colour of the skin and eyes
- Excessive sweating at night
- Bone pain
- Pain in abdomen
- Excessive fatigue
- Symptoms of anemia such as difficulty in breathing, pale skin and eyes, constant exhaustion, and fatigued
DiagnosisThe following diagnostic tests and procedures can be used to make a diagnosis.
- CBC ( Complete blood count with peripheral smear)
- Serum alpha fetoproteins
- Liver enzyme levels
- Blood coagulation profile (for example partial thromboplastin time PTT, international normalized ratio INR)
- Serum electrolyte levels
- Liver function tests (LFTs)
- Abdominal USG, CT scan, and MRI
- Immunohistochemical staining
- Liver Biopsy
TreatmentThe selection of suitable treatment depends upon multiple factors like the size, number, and location of the tumour. Other factors are the overall performance of the liver or liver function, the presence or absence of the spread of the tumour to other parts of the body, the presence or absence of Liver cirrhosis, its extent, and the risk involved in the case of surgery due to extent of the cirrhosis. On behalf of the above-mentioned factors there are the following treatment options;
- Resection; surgical removal of the tumour along with some healthy tissues from the surroundings of the tumour to stop the spread of cancer in the early stage of cancer.
- Radiofrequency Ablation; is a non-surgical technique to kill and stop the spread of cancer cells in cases where surgery is not a suitable option.
- Targeted immunotherapy
- Liver Transplantation: it is a surgical procedure through which a diseased liver is replaced by a healthy liver from a donor.