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How can loss of appetite be a sign of liver cancer? – ZenOnco.io

What is loss of appetite?

Appetite loss. Anorexia, as it is medically known, can be caused by a variety of conditions and diseases. Any of the symptoms, such as a loss of appetite caused by pharmacological side effects, maybe acute and reversible. Some illnesses, such as those resulting from the consequences of underlying liver cancer, can be more serious (Medicover Hospitals, 2021).

The Liver

The liver is the largest internal organ. It’s under the ribs on the right side of the abdomen (belly) above the stomach. The gallbladder is located beneath the liver, while the pancreas is located beneath the stomach. The digestive system includes all of these organs. They collaborate to assist the body in breaking down food and converting it to energy. The right and left lobes are the two primary portions of the liver. The hepatic artery and portal vein both supply blood to the liver. The hepatic artery receives and carries blood from the heart. The portal vein receives blood from the digestive organs and transports nutrients and other chemicals to the liver.

The liver is in charge of several functions. 

• breaking down narcotics and alcohol, as well as getting rid of poisons

• Generating bile to aid in the dissolution of fat so that it can be more easily digested

• Storing sugars (glucose) and releasing them when needed

• Nutrient storage

• Producing proteins that aid in blood clotting and fluid balance in the body (Cancer Council, 2020).

Liver cancer 

Liver cancer is a malignancy that affects the liver. 

When cancer attacks the liver, it destroys the organ’s cells and reduces its ability to function normally.

The two kinds of liver cancer are primary and secondary liver cancers. Primary liver cancer begins in the cells of the liver. Secondary liver cancer occurs when cancer cells from another organ migrate to the liver.

Tumor cells, unlike other cells in the body, can break away from cancer’s original site.

The cells travel to different parts of the body via the bloodstream or lymphatic system. Cancer cells eventually clump together and begin to proliferate in another human organ (Healthline, 2020).

Causes of appetite loss in cancer

Illness patients’ appetites can be affected by a variety of causes, the most prevalent of which are cancer and its treatment.

A cancer patient’s appetite loss can be caused by several circumstances, including:

• Alterations in metabolism, the body’s process of breaking down food and converting it to energy. With advanced cancer, such alterations are possible.

• Abdominal cancer, which can cause inflammation or swelling.

• An enlarged spleen or liver, which presses on the stomach and causes bloating.

• Ascites, a protein-filled fluid buildup in the belly that can cause a sense of fullness.

• Medications, such as chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and other pharmaceuticals.

• Any section of the gastrointestinal organs, such as the stomach or intestines, is subjected to radiation therapy or surgery (American Society of Clinical Oncology, 2020).

• If a tumor is located in or near sections of the gastrointestinal (GI) system, it may obstruct food intake, create difficulty swallowing, or make a person feel full without eating.

• Some tumors emit hormones that alter the body’s ability to sense when it’s hungry (American Cancer Society, 2020).

Loss of appetite: sign of liver cancer

Liver cancer is a malignancy that affects the liver. The liver is the largest glandular organ in the body, and it serves a critical function in maintaining the body free of toxins and dangerous substances.

The liver is located in the right upper quadrant of the belly, below the ribs. It’s in charge of producing bile, a substance that promotes fat, vitamin, and other nutrient digestion.

This important organ also stores nutrients like glucose, allowing you to stay nourished even when you aren’t eating. It also degrades poisons and drugs.

When cancer strikes the liver, it damages liver cells and impairs the organ’s capacity to function normally (Healthline, 2020).

Because the liver plays such an important part in digestion, cancer of the liver can induce a loss of appetite and weight loss (Cancer Council, 2020).

Because liver cancer can cause the abdomen to enlarge, loss of appetite or feeling full after eating modest quantities can be signs of the deadly disease.

As cancer progresses, the liver increases, causing swelling on the right side of the abdomen.

The malignancy increases the pressure in the liver, which causes blood to back up in the capillaries, forcing fluid out of the veins and into the abdomen, giving a sense of fullness.

Suggestions for Managing Appetite Loss

To receive the nourishment you need to stay strong during treatment, follow these steps:

• Drink plenty of water. It’s critical to drink plenty of fluids, especially if you don’t have much of an appetite. Dehydration is a serious condition that can be caused by losing fluid. If you don’t drink enough liquids, you may become weak or dizzy and have dark yellow urine.

• Eat foods that are nutritious and healthy. Even if you aren’t hungry, eat a bit. Instead of three substantial meals, five or six little meals spread throughout the day may be beneficial. Most people require a wide variety of nutrient-dense, high-protein, high-calorie diets.

• Take part in activities. Being physically active can make you eat more. Your appetite may increase if you take a short walk every day. (National Cancer Institute, 2018).

Expert Guidance from Cancer Coach

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