Kusum Chauhan (Liver Cancer Caregiver): Live in the moment

Let us understand some facts about liver cancer before the story.

Causes of liver cancer

 Liver is the football-sized organ in the upper-right area of the stomach. The exact cause of liver cancer is unknown, but most cases are associated with damage and scarring of the liver known as cirrhosis. Cirrhosis can have a number of different causes, including drinking excessive amounts of alcohol over many years and having a long-term hepatitis B or hepatitis C viral infection. 

Liver cancer can spread quickly depending on the type of cancer. There are two types of liver cancer. Hemangiosarcoma and angiosarcoma. These two types of liver cancer are fast spreading whereas hepatocellular carcinoma spreads later in the disease.

Liver transplantation has proven to be the most effective treatment for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma, a common type of liver cancer. If a patient has liver disease, such as cirrhosis, liver transplantation can further reduce  the risk of recurrence following treatment.

If the liver cancer is localized (confined to the liver), the 5-year survival rate is 28%. If the liver cancer is regional (has grown into nearby organs), the 5-year survival rate is 7%. Once the liver cancer is distant (spread to distant organs or tissues), the survival time is as low as 2 years.

In the United States, adult primary liver cancer occurs most often in people older than 60 years. Men are more likely to develop liver cancer than women.

The following are signs and symptoms that suggest a person with cancer may be entering the final weeks of life: Worsening weakness and exhaustion. A need to sleep much of the time, often spending most of the day in bed or resting. In most cases, chemotherapy is not a cure for liver cancer. Because traditional chemotherapy is not effective in treating liver cancer, physicians sometimes recommend a different form of chemotherapy called hepatic artery infusion (HAI).

Symptoms of liver cancer include jaundice, itchiness on skin, dark yellow coloured urine, pale skin, loss of appetite, and losing weight without trying. Doctors give chemo in cycles, with each period of treatment followed by a rest period to give you time to recover from the effects of the drugs. Cycles are most often 2 or 3 weeks long. The schedule varies depending on the drugs used. For example, with some drugs, the chemo is given only on the first day of the cycle.

Often there are no symptoms for liver cancer.When they do occur, they may include fatigue, bloating, pain on the right side of the upper abdomen or back or shoulder, nausea, loss of appetite, weight loss, weakness, fever and jaundice. Doctors often recommend regular liver cancer screenings for those at increased risk.

Surgeons can remove up to 80 percent of the liver and it will grow back in a matter of weeks if the remaining liver is healthy. Surgery is a potential treatment for primary and metastatic liver cancers.

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To detect liver cancer early some common early warning signs include:

  1. Pain in the upper abdomen on the right side or near the right shoulder blade.
  2. Enlarged liver (hepatomegaly).
  3. Abdominal swelling (ascites) or bloating in the abdomen that develops as a mass

So, now let’s just move on to the story of “KUSUM CHAUHAN”

How did it all start ?

It all started when her husband Devraj started feeling symptoms like back pain, Vomiting, Diarrhea, etc but when they went to the doctor the doctor said her husband is suffering from typhoid.

They started the treatment of typhoid but no changes were seen in his body. His health was getting worse day by day. He did not tell his family about the condition but when the situation got worse he finally informed his family.

How does the family react ?

When Devraj family came to know about the situation they pressurized Devraj to  begin the treatment in Ahmedabad.From there he came to know that he is suffering from “Liver Cancer” but by that time it was too late. The cancer had spread throughout his body.

The treatment

Devraj did undergo cancer treatment but at that point his situation was very bad. He was unable to walk properly, had a lot of stomach ache etc. He was also not able to take his meals properly. After many treatments and chemotherapy he was still not able to live.

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