Liver cancer is usually diagnosed after a consultation with a GP and a referral to a hospital specialist for further tests.
However, regular check-ups for liver cancer (known as ‘surveillance’) are recommended for people known to have a high risk of developing the condition, such as those with a confirmed hepatitis C infection or those who have had cirrhosis.
If you are in a high-risk group for developing liver cancer, having regular check-ups will help ensure the condition is diagnosed early. The earlier liver cancer is diagnosed, the more effective treatment is likely to be.
Cancer of the liver does not usually cause noticeable symptoms until it has reached an advanced stage.
These symptoms include:
- unexplained weight loss
- loss of appetite that lasts longer than a week
- feeling very full after eating, even if the meal was small
- feeling sick (nausea) and vomiting
- swelling of your abdomen (tummy)
- jaundice – yellowing of your skin and the whites of your eyes
- itchy skin
- feeling very tired and weak
Visit your GP if you are notice any of the symptoms listed above. Although they are more likely to be the result of a more common condition, such as an infection, rather than liver cancer, it’s best to have them checked.
Also, you should contact your GP if you have previously been diagnosed with a condition known to affect the liver, such as cirrhosis or a hepatitis C infection, and your health suddenly deteriorates.
Although the exact cause of liver cancer is unknown, it has been linked to damage and scarring of the liver (cirrhosis).
Cancer is a condition where cells in a specific part of the body grow and reproduce uncontrollably, producing a lump of tissue known as a tumour.
In cases of liver cancer, it is uncertain why and how the cells of the liver are affected. However, it appears that damage to the liver, such as the condition cirrhosis, can increase the risk of liver cancer.
Cirrhosis is a medical term which means the tissue of the liver has become scarred and cannot perform many of its usual functions. However, it is important to point out most cases of cirrhosis do not lead to liver cancer.
In England, the main causes of cirrhosis are:
- prolonged alcohol misuse – usually over many years
- non-fatty alcoholic liver disease
- hepatitis C
The liver is a tough and resilient organ. It can endure a high level of damage that would destroy other organs. It is also capable of regenerating itself. But despite the liver’s resilience, prolonged alcohol misuse over many years can damage it.
Every time you drink alcohol, your liver filters out the poisonous alcohol from your blood and some of the liver cells die. The liver can regenerate new cells, but if you drink heavily for many years, your liver will lose the ability to do this.
It is estimated that one in three cases of liver cancer are related to alcohol misuse.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease occurs when small deposits of fat build up inside the tissue of the liver. It’s a common condition and causes no noticeable symptoms in most people. However, in some people high levels of fat can make the liver inflamed. Over time, the inflammation will scar the liver.
The exact cause of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is unclear, but it is associated with obesity and type 2 diabetes.
A long term infection of hepatitis C can cause inflammation and scarring of the liver. In England, most people infected by hepatitis C develop the infection by using contaminated needles or other drug equipment, such as mixing spoons when injecting drugs like heroin.
If you smoke and have hepatitis C, your risk of developing liver cancer further increases.
Other risk factors
Other risk factors for liver cancer include:
Hepatitis B is a virus that can be spread via contaminated blood and other types of bodily fluids, such as saliva, semen and vaginal fluids. Hepatitis B is uncommon in England and other western European countries.
A small number of people have severe symptoms similar to those of liver cancer, and can develop extensive scarring of their liver.
The risk of someone with a hepatitis B infection developing liver cancer appears to be influenced by ethnicity. People of Asian origin infected with hepatitis B have a higher-than-average chance of developing liver cancer, regardless of whether they have also developed cirrhosis of the liver.
People of other ethnic backgrounds only seem to have an increased risk of liver cancer if they also develop cirrhosis or another related liver condition, such as hepatitis C.
If you smoke and have hepatitis B, your risk of developing liver cancer further increases.
Haemochromatosis is a genetic condition where the body stores too much iron from food. The excess levels of iron have a poisonous effect on the liver and cause scarring.
People with haemochromatosis-related cirrhosis have a 1 in 10 chance of developing liver cancer. This risk decreases to 0.1 in 10 once treatment to remove the excess iron from the body begins.
Autoimmune hepatitis is a rare, genetic condition thought to affect 1 in every 7,150 people.
In autoimmune hepatitis, your immune system (the body’s natural defence against infection) attacks the cells of the liver as if they are a ‘foreign’ infection. Exactly what triggers the attack is unknown.
If you have autoimmune hepatitis, the risk of developing liver cancer is smaller than if you have cirrhosis from one of the other common causes. This may be because most cases of autoimmune hepatitis can be treated with immunosuppressant drugs that help prevent your immune system from damaging your liver.
Primary biliary cirrhosis
Primary biliary cirrhosis is a rare and poorly understood liver condition. In England, an estimated 1 in 4,150 people is affected.
One of the main functions of the liver is to create a fluid called bile, used by the body to help break down fat. The bile is transported to the digestive system via a series of tubes called bile ducts.
For reasons that are unclear, in cases of primary biliary cirrhosis, the bile ducts are gradually damaged. This eventually leads to a build-up of bile inside the liver, which damages the liver and causes cirrhosis.
People with advanced primary biliary cirrhosis are estimated to have a 1 in 20 chance of developing liver cancer in any given year.
If you do the Jeff McCombs Candida Protocol you will already be avoiding all of the foods that trigger cancer. However here are the foods to avoid at all costs so that you do not add further toxicity to your system:
- Do not consume any artificial sweeteners, such as Splenda, NutraSweet or Aspartame
- Do not consume high fructose corn syrup or mono-sodium glutamate.
- Do not drink any carbonated beverages.
- Avoid all fast food restaurants.
- Avoid all canned food.
- Eliminate conventional dairy products. The best dairy products are raw, unpasteurised and homogenised dairy from grass fed cows. If this is unavailable, then buy organic dairy.
- Avoid conventional beef. The best beef is organic grass fed beef. The second best is organic meat; this includes beef, veal, lamb, chicken and turkey. Check out www.grasslandbeef.com.
The diet should be limited by quantity and quality. The cancer cells will absorb the nutrition from all of the food that you consume. That being said, it’s a safe assumption that following a small diet of anti-cancer foods may be very beneficial. Cancer cells reproduce faster than normal cells do. That means the cells will die faster too. Some guidelines and recommendations for a cancer-friendly diet include avoiding sugar, eating little to no meat (or, if you must eat meat, stick with fish), eat tofu, beans, eggs, nuts and mushrooms, avoid cold or bitter foods and do not eat foods that create damp cold or damp heat.
Avoid all foods that are high in unhealthy saturated and trans- fats, hydrogenated and partially-hydrogenated fats and oils, margarine, and shortening. Eliminate refined white flour, which is found in the majority of foods found on a typical grocery store shelf, including bread, bagels, crackers, cakes, cookies, and other baked good, pasta. Also avoid alcohol, caffeine, simple carbohydrates, sugars and sugar products, foods that are overly spicy, and all processed and commercial “junk” food. Stay clear of all inorganic pasteurized milk and dairy products, including yogurt and cheese; best to eat only raw, organic dairy products.
Empower yourself, and choose a diet emphasizing organic whole foods, including plenty of fresh, raw fruits and vegetables, oats, whole grains, such as brown rice, quinoa and buckwheat. Include a variety of preferably soaked, nuts and seeds, especially pumpkin and sunflower seeds. Minimize your intake of red meat; though be sure to consume adequate amounts of organic, free-range poultry, bison and wild-caught fish. Eat generous quantities of both raw and lightly steamed organic vegetables and large fresh salads daily. Preferably, cook with virgin coconut butter/oil and use extra virgin olive oil, high lignin flax seed oil and hemp seed oil as condiments on veggies and as the base for your daily salad dressing. Throughout the day, drink plenty of pure, filtered water, and avoid drinking—as well as bathing, and showering in—unfiltered tap water, as tap water contains heavy metals and pesticide residues that can settle in high concentrations in the body.
The raw food diet is a food plan that can be of great benefit if you suffer from kidney cancer. Using the guidelines outlined above as a base camp for a clean and healthy diet, one can then transition into a raw food diet as desired. Raw food generates rapid results because of its ability to thoroughly detoxify and liberate your body’s previously untapped energy.
The diet mainly consists of raw fruits, vegetables, and soaked and sprouted nuts and seeds, supplemented with daily consumption of fresh green juices made from a variety of vegetables such as celery, romaine lettuce, spinach, carrot, kale, parsley, and an ever rotating seasonal selection of other organic veggies. Raw foodists enjoy salads, dehydrated flax crackers, seed and nut patés, blended soups, smoothies, and marinated veggies, often mixed with soaked sea vegetables. Since little to no cooked food is consumed, the raw diet has the advantage of instantly eliminating many common allergens. No cooked wheat or wheat by-products are consumed, and generally dairy is omitted, though some might choose to eat moderate quantities of raw goat or sheep milk products, often in the form of a fermented food, such as homemade raw kefir or yogurt.
Dr Gabriel Cousins, at the Tree of Life Center, endorses the raw food plan as the ultimate healing diet, and offers 100% raw food meals at his healing retreat in Patagonia, Arizona. An important note when choosing a raw food diet: there is an issue of trade-offs. You might miss cooked foods, though you will not miss cancer. More times than not the raw food diet presents itself as an incredible tool that can be used to quickly transition from a serious health challenge into a healing process, ultimately resulting in greater health and well-being.
- Take Vitamin D3 50,000-100,000 International Units a day for periods of 4 weeks at a time.
- Wholefood supplements are the best way of ensuring your nutritional needs are met. The best we know on the market is Kevin Trudeau’s “KT Daily” product. You can find more details here.
- Take an Omega 3 supplement:
Choline is often included in B vitamin complex supplements and, according to the A.P. John Cancer Research Institute, may help to fight cancer-related fatigue. Additionally, an early study into the relationship between liver cancer and choline, published in the October 1984 issue of “Carconogenesis” found that mice that were fed a diet deficient in choline were more likely to develop liver cancer. Choline is found in a number of foods including liver, fish, beans, spinach and eggs. It can also be taken as a dietary supplement. RxList notes that it is likely safe for most adults but high doses may cause side effects including sweating, vomiting and diarrhea.
Compounds found in green tea interfere with the supply of energy to cancer cells and help starve them to death, the A.P. John Cancer Research Institute notes. An article published in the October 2010 issue of “Nutrition and Cancer” also notes that extracts of green tea and chemicals found in green tea, known as polyphenols, may inhibit the formation and development of tumors. Green tea is usually consumed as a beverage, but it is also available in capsule and tablet form. It is likely safe for most adults, but high doses or long-term use may cause side effects including an upset stomach, irritability and anxiety. Do not take concentrated green tea extract as it may cause liver problems.
The trace mineral selenium may interfere with the activity of genes involved in cancer cell growth and may also induce cancer cell death, according to the A.P. John Cancer Research Institute. The Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center also notes that selenium can help to reduce treatment-related side effects. This mineral is found in a host of foods including whole grains, poultry and nuts. It can also be taken as a dietary supplement. Talk to your doctor before using selenium supplements as high doses may deplete vitamin C levels.
Prescription and non-prescription medication:
What non-prescription and prescription drugs are you taking? Your non-prescription and prescription are partially the reason that you have this illness or disease – you need to get off these medications, but do so only under the guidance of a licensed health care practitioner.
We know that when the body is out of balance, energy doesn’t flow, leading blockages and eventually disease. Here are some things you can do to combat stress and restore balance:
- Go to a Dr. Morter BEST (Bio-Energetic Synchronisation Technique) Practitioner.
- Sign up for Energetic Re-Balancing: 2 practitioners to consider are:
Stephen Lewis, founder of the Aim Program. Find out more by clicking here.
. Find out more by clicking here.
- Consider using Mary Millers Iching System Products – ichingsystemsinstruments.com
- Reiki healing is very powerful in releasing stress and emotional baggage. Find a practitioner here.
- Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) has had remarkable results in dissolving stress. Find a local practitioner here or go to www.thetappingsolution.com or www.tftrx.com
- Try Hypnotherapy to relax the mind. Find a practitioner here.
Traditional Chinese Medicine – Ancient Healing www.naturalcures.com/healthblog/traditional_chinese_ancient_healing.php
The best way to cleansing and purification of the body www.naturalcures.com/healthblog/54_the_best_way_to_cleansing_and_purification_of_the_body_110512.php
Mother Nature’s Natural Germ Fighters naturalhealthdossier.com/2012/03/mother-natures-natural-germ-fighters
Immune health NC_Newsletter_07-11.pdf
Squeaky Clean (Colonic Irrigation) www.naturalcures.com/healthblog/squeaky_clean.php
Heal Your Body and Raise Your Consciousness – Qigong NC_Newsletter_12-08.pdf
Health Care that Won’t Cost You a Single Penny – EFT NC_Newsletter_12-06.pdf
Become Master of Your Mind – taking charge of your reaction to stress NC_Newsletter_12-10.pdf
Jump for Joy – Rebounding is a great stress busting workout NC_Newsletter_12-10.pdf
Hypnotherapy for stress management – why it is so effective www.naturalcures.com/healthblog/hypnotherapy_for_stress.php
Living only on herbs to treat liver cancer: www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhWkMJ-XP3c
EFT for treating disease www.garythink.com/eft/physicial.html
Plants against liver cancer: www.herbs.org/herbnews/2011/10/plants-against-liver-cancer
Ground breaking research on aromatherapy and cancer: www.auroma.com/Everyday-Aromatherapy-Blog/aromatherapy-essential-oils-groundbreaking-cancer-research
Further Information (links and books)
Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Fifth Edition: A Practical A-to-Z Reference to Drug-Free Remedies Using Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs & Food … A-To-Z Reference to Drug-Free Remedies) by Phyllis Balch
Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art by Kathi Keville and Mindi Green
Detox and revitalize by Susana L. Belen
The Secret Language of Your Body by Inna Segal
The Healing Herbs: The Ultimate Guide to the Curative Power of Nature’s Medicines by Michael Castleman and Prevention Magazine
Andrea Butje | Aromahead [email protected] – Aromatherapy
Carrie Vitt [email protected] – Organic food recipes.
David Spector-NSR/USA [email protected] – Meditation, stress
Judith Hoad [email protected] – Herbalist.
Kath May [email protected] – Reiki, Tai Chi.
Lillian Bridges [email protected] – Chinese medicine, living naturally.
Monika [email protected] – Aromatherapy.
Rakesh [email protected] – Ayurvedic practitioner.