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Liver Cancers in Children

The liver is a large, very important organ situated in the right upper quadrant of abdomen. The normal functions of the liver in the body are:

To help store nutrients from food
To break down and remove harmful chemicals from the body
To build chemicals that the body needs to stay healthy
Hepatoblastoma:The most common type of liver cancer in children is Hepatoblastoma. it occurs most frequently in infants or very young children between 2 months and 2 year.

Symptoms:

- Lump in the abdomen (most common)
- Reduced appetite
- lethargy
- nausia / vomiting
- Pain in abdomen
- Jaundice

Investigations:
The following minima investigations are proposed to diagnose hepatoblastoma

- Tumor markers- serum AFP
- CT scan of abdomen with Ct guided FNAC or Biopsy
- X-ray chest
- Complete blood count
- Biochem profile

Treatment:
Surgery & chemotherapy are two treatment options
Surgery: Liver resection according to the location & extent of the tumor. It will be either

- Rt hepatectomy
- Lt hepatectomy
- Extended Rt or Lt hepatectomy
- Bi or trisegmentectomy

If liver resection is not possible because of multicentric disease then liver transplant is the only treatment of option.

Chemotherapy:
Chemotherapy is given before or after surgery. Surgery is done either as a sandwitch surgery (in between cycles of chemotherapy) or it is done at the start & then chemotherapy is given.

The drugs used are

- Cisplatin
- Doxorubicin
- Vincristine
- 5-Fluorouracil

Other less common malignant liver tumor in children: Hepatocellular carcinoma.

 

The author is Pediatric Surgeon and operate plenty of child surgeries every month. Please visit Surgeon's blog on Child Cancer https://cancer-surgery.blogspot.com/. This article can be republished along with the information given above only.

 
 
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