Liver Cancer Transplants

Liver cancer is also known as hepatocellular carcinoma and refers to a cancer that affects the liver. Other names used to describe this condition include hepatoma and primary liver cancer. The liver constitutes of up to 80% of hepatocyte cells, which make up the liver tissue. These hepatocytes therefore account for 95% of cancers that manifest themselves in the liver. These cancers are known as carcinomas or hepatocellular. Other cells available in the liver include fat storing cells, bile ducts, and blood vessels. Liver cancer does not only originate from the liver but may also have originated from other body parts. These include the lungs, stomach, colon, breast, and pancreas. These cancers are referred to as secondary liver cancers or metastatic cancers.

liverAccording to statistics, cancer of the liver is rated the fifth among the world’s most common cancers. This condition is life threatening and studies also show that many deaths of people with liver cancer occur yearly. This cancer is most common in South Africa, Korea, Hong Kong, Japan, Mozambique, and Taiwan. The main causes of this cancer include vinyl chloride exposure and risk factors such as liver flukes, liver cirrhosis, or chronic hepatitis. Vinyl chloride is a colorless combustible gas that is used in manufacturing as a chemical compound. Other names used to refer to this toxic chemical are chloroethylene, chloroethene, or ethylene monochloride. Liver cancer is characterized by several symptoms such as loss of appetite, loss of weight, a painful right upper abdomen, and jaundice, breast swell in males as well as problems in clotting blood. This failure for blood to clot leads to skin bruises and bleeding in the intestines.

Liver cancers are diagnosed through blood tests, radiological imaging, and tumor screening. These tests must be rigorous since it is hard to diagnose the condition. An Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) is the most commonly used cancer test since the other methods are not very reliable. Liver cancer can be treated but the treatment depends on the age of the cancer, affected organs and age of patient. Some of the treatments that may be used include chemotherapy, surgery, radiation, vaccine therapy, immunotherapy, and liver transplant. These medications may however come with side effects and it is important for people to know them. For instance, chemotherapy may exhibit side effects such as insomnia, constipation, fatigue, mouth sores, nausea, and delirium.

Liver transplant is problematic for various reasons. The cost for the transplant surgeon is high. The hospital charges where the transplant occurs and recovery starts is high. It takes a donor liver.

Using the canelim capsules with chemotherapy is recommended as they enhance efficacy by killing the cancer cells. They also retard the growth of the tumor and improve the body’s immunity. Cancer treatment methods help in reducing the effects of the cancer and improve the life of the patient. Surgery may however not be a good option since the cancer is bound to spread to other body organs and this can cause death. An early detection of cancer may lead to successful treatment and it is therefore very important for people to consult their physicians the instance they exhibit the symptoms. Cancer spreads fast to other body organs making it hard to control while in late stages. In that case, a transplant may be the only viable option.

Infection Diseases Huge Hospital Problem

We first heard of them when the war in Iraq started seven years ago. Soldiers wounded in battle would come home with a strange infection – diseases that would just not yield to any antibiotic the doctors had. News of bacteria that are resistant to all drugs, has been picking up ever since, with the CDC putting out alarming statistics every now and then, like the one that says that nearly 100,000 patients at hospitals die each year in this country, from strange bacterial infections that laugh at the strongest drugs we throw at them. Another statistic from Europe too, says that there are about 16,000 dead each year in their hospitals from these. And then there are the horror stories we hear from her friends and relatives.

This comes into play especially when major body intrusive surgeries such as transplants are conducted. Transplanting organs opens the body to whatever atmosphere exists in the surgery room. Whether bladder, kidney, liver or other urological transplant procedure, the risks are more substantial that less intrusive surgeries. Even if transplant is not required, the intrusion is severe for internal organs as shown in this video:

Take my father for instance; he was a healthy 80-year-old man, who loved to go on 5 mile walks every day. He just has this lump on his ankle, and he had to go in, for a simple biopsy. They just punched out a little sample of flesh from his ankle, and since he is over 80, kept him in overnight for observation. The wound never quite healed, and ever since he came home, he kept having to go back for one kind of painful condition around the wound or another. Pretty soon, they discovered that the bacteria was beginning to poison his blood. They called the bacteria Acinetobacter Baumannii – apparently a real tough customer whose reaction to the toughest drugs is to turn over and settle in comfortably. The hospital infection, diseases that strike you when you’re weak and vulnerable in hospital, have been known of for some time. Doctors have done a lot of work publicizing one particular hospital disease – MRSA – and they’ve even found a cure for it.

infect diseaseThe super-bugs like Acinetobacter receive not a fraction of the attention MRSA does. And people are dropping like flies through it. These new bacteria, and they call them Gram-negative bacteria, don’t yield to any known drug. The drug companies aren’t that interested in going out after them either – and yes, there is more than one. So there is someone an hospital and if he gets one of these new gram-negative bacteria infection diseases, what is it that the doctors do to treat it, as there is no drug that quite controls them? An Iraq veteran who suffered considerable injuries in a roadside bomb, while he was recuperating from his injuries back in the US, had the bad luck to catch one of these new bugs. His health deteriorated so much, that the doctors decided on the only option in these cases, administering a dangerously powerful antibiotic, that was banned for general use, perhaps 40 years ago. A drug that’s been out of circulation for so long is perhaps the only hope against these rapidly evolving bacteria. The bacteria haven’t had a chance to get used to them.

However, the soldier found that his kidneys began to fail from poisoning by those antibiotics. The doctor advised that he go on with the treatment, and opt for a kidney transplant later if necessary. The soldier balked at such an extreme step, called doctor crazy, and took his own counsel. He stopped those dangerous drugs, and he hoped he would recover on its own. Luckily for him, sometimes, things like a stubborn infection, diseases you get at the hospital, can sort themselves out given enough time. For him, this actually did work out. Now at a hospital, he contributes time to an NGO that tries to spread awareness that doctors need to use fewer antibiotics in general. That’s what has caused all of this in the first place. The entire bacteria kingdom is so used to our antibiotics, that they have grown accustomed. Gram-negative bacteria are beginning to gain the ability to infect people outside of hospitals too. This is about the right time to act.

transplant emotional stress

Upcoming Transplant Emotional Stress

All of us experience some degree of emotional stress on a fairly frequent basis and nothing will exacerbate this more than knowing that you have an organ transplant in the future. Our fast-paced lives and stringent schedules seem to invite stress. Never enough time, financial worries, job stress and family problems all contribute. The fact is that emotional stress wears away at your good health. It can affect your immune system response negatively, making you more vulnerable to illness. If you have certain existing medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, emotional stress isn’t going to help. Given that we’re all subject to this type of stress, at least occasionally, the name of the game is to keep the stress to a minimum. Here are a few tried and true ways to reduce stress of an emotional nature.

Your first step should be to assess your personality type. If you’re the laid-back type, you have an advantage, in that it’s easier for you to shrug off minor stresses. However, if you’re the hyper type, tending towards anxiety and nervousness, stressful situations tend to build on one another, leaving you a nervous wreck in very short order, while also significantly affecting your health. This may become unmanageable if you have an organ transplant scheduled. In either case, once you’ve made this self assessment, you can better judge how many of these stress reducing ideas you’ll need to pursue to get on a better footing with life.

It’s a good idea to keep a log where you record situations that bring on emotional stress. This helps you identify your personal ‘triggers’. A small notebook is all you need. Just a brief description is all you need to later recall the entire event. For example, ‘forgot to pay the phone bill’ or ‘conflict with Mary at work’ should suffice. You’ll find that when you make a note, over time you’ll start to see patterns which reveal characteristics of your own behavior which may consistently lead to stressing out. You may find that, due to procrastinating, you’re frequently late accomplishing tasks that exacerbate your stress.

Other than the life changing situations such as a necessary liver, bladder or other crucial organ that requires a transplant, there are occasions when emotional stress is warranted, such as worrying over a child’s illness. The problem with this type of stress is that it has a ‘snowball’ effect when you allow every little thing to pile up in one indistinguishable mass of worry and you soon find yourself overwhelmed. Your log can help to sort out the issues over which you have control. Procrastination, for example, can lead to many unnecessary hassles. In this case, by making a calendar of events you need to attend to before a problem arises can go a long way to reducing emotional stress.

On the other hand, your log may simply reveal that, due to an anxious and nervous disposition, minor stresses form the majority of your entries. In this case, it’s most often helpful to focus on getting rid of some of that nervous energy. Some people just have ‘energy to burn’, quite literally. Implement a program of regular exercise. A brisk walk in the fresh air twice daily works wonders for staving off bouts of emotional stress. Some people find that rigorous cleaning around the house (think cleaning the oven, vacuuming, washing walls) serves to alleviate stress in two ways: you burn off excess energy and gain the satisfaction of a visibly cleaner home.

Hobbies of a less physical nature, such as reading, drawing or knitting are good techniques for reducing stress, especially if your health doesn’t permit excessively vigorous physical activities. Your object here is to allow your mind to be occupied with something you enjoy, rather than letting yourself stew over emotional issues which really aren’t significant in the long run. This method helps you take a step back, relax and put things in perspective. Think about your post-operative recovery and the new loan on life from your transplant you will now have.

Other primarily mental ‘exercises’ that prove helpful to many people include meditation and prayer, which also gets your mind out of the immediate. Giving yourself a spiritual lift has an added bonus, in that your body and mind relax. Practicing yoga is another good way to reduce emotional stress and which doesn’t put undue stress on your body, while clearing your mind, leaving you feeling refreshed and ultimately, more limber and fit.

Last, if you’re not the laid-back type, you may want to consider reducing your consumption of caffeine. While you may love coffee, the caffeine can contribute mightily to an undesirable rush of adrenalin, which only worsens your susceptibility to physical and emotional stress. Try swapping an herbal tea or a glass of juice for that third cup of coffee.

Although emotional stress is unfortunately a fact of life for most of us, you can certainly minimize it, using all of the methods outlined here. You’ll find that your emotional balance improves, as well as feeling more energetic, sleeping better and experiencing fewer illnesses. To your good health!