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6. Liver Cancer
(
Please refer the article on effect of herbotherapy treatment on liver cancer at the bottom of the page)

LIVER CANCER

 

(1) Overview

(2) Symptoms

(3) Risk factors

(4) Metastasis

(5) Diagnosis as per modern science

(6) Staging and grading

(7) Treatment as per Ayurveda (with ayurvedic herbs and ayurvedic preparations)

  

(1) Overview :- 

The liver is a very important organ in the human body. It is placed under right ribs just under the right lung. The most important function of the liver is to convert food into energy and filtering and storing blood. The liver plays a pivotal role in the detoxification of blood, i.e. removal of toxins produced in the body due to metabolic activity of the body. The liver receives blood from two sources, the hepatic artery supplies the liver with blood from the heart that is rich in oxygen and the portal vein carries nutrient rich blood from the digestive organs. Liver also produces clotting agents necessary for clotting the blood when the body is injured. It secrets bile into the intestines, to help absorb nutrients. The liver is made up of several different types of cells. This is why there are several types of malignant (cancerous) and benign (non-cancerous) tumors that can form in the liver. 

Benign tumors :- 

(i) Hemangioma The most common type of benign tumor of the liver, starts in blood vessles. Because most hemangiomas of the liver cause no symptoms, they do not need treatment. Some however may need to be surgically removed. 

(ii) Hepatic adenomas These are benign tumors of hepatocytes (the main type of liver cell). Most cause no symptoms and do not need treatment. However, some eventually cause symptoms, such as abdominal pain, a mass in the abdomen, or blood loss. Because there is a risk that the tumor could rupture, and a small risk that it would eventually develop into liver cancer, most experts usually recommend surgical removal if possible. 

(iii) Focal nodular hyperplasia This is a tumor growth of several cell types. Although FNH tumors are benign, it can be difficult to tell them apart from true liver cancers, and they sometimes are surgically removed when diagnosis is unclear. 

Malignant tumors: - 

(i) Hepatocellular carcinoma :- It is the most common form of liver cancer occurring. It is on numerous occasions called hepatoma because it comes from the hepatocytes. It accounts for about 75% of primary liver cancers. 

(ii) Cholangeocarcinomas :- This accounts for 10 to 20% of primary liver cancers. These are also called intrahepatic (starting with the liver) Cholangeocarcinomas. These cancer starts in the small bile ducts within the liver. 

(iii) Angiosarcomas and hemangiosarcomas: - These are rare cancers that begin in the blood vessles of the liver. Exposure to various chemicals such as vinyl chlorides or thorium oxide, and radioactive elements like radium or poisons like arsenic are known to cause these types of cancers. Angiosarcomas grow rapidly, by the time they are detected the growth is too large to be surgically removed. 

(iv) Hepatoblastoma: - This is a very rare kind of cancer that developes in children, usually up to five years of age. If detected early this cancer is highly treatable.  

(2) Symptoms: - 

Signs and symptoms in liver cancers are not present until the last stage when cancer has spread. Many signs and symptoms are relatively non-specific, they can be caused by other cancers or non-cancerous diseases. However the following symptoms may require attention. 

(i) Unexplained, unintentional weight loss. 

(ii) Anorexia persistent lack of appetite. 

(iii) Liver enlargement or a mass that can be felt in the area of liver. 

(iv) Persistent abdominal pain. 

(v) Jaundice. 

(vi) Hyperglycemia Some liver hormones may cause hyperglycemia ( high blood calcium levels). This can lead to weakness. 

(vii) Hypoglycemia Low blood sugar levels, which can lead to fainting. 

(viii) Gynecomastia Enlargement of breasts in men, and shrinking of testis. 

(ix) Aseitis Water retention in the abdominal area. Many patients are seen with these symptoms.  

(3) Risk factors 

(i) Gender Hepatocellular carcinoma is predominantly more common in males than in females.

(ii) Chronic viral hepatitis Chronic (long term) infection with hepatitis B virus or Hepatitis C virus is an important liver cancer risk factor. These infections are responsible for making liver cancer the most common type of cancer in the world. 

(iii) Cirrhosis Cirrhosis is the result of scar tissue formation in the liver. This can often lead to cancer. Most liver cirrhosis occurs in people who abuse alcohol. But, Hepatitis B and C are also major causes of liver cirrhosis. Another cause is excessive iron in liver. 

(iv) Tobacco use A link has been established between tobacco use and liver cancer. Combined with alcohol tobacco is very potent in causing cancer. 

(v) Inherited metabolic diseases Certain metabolic diseases can also lead to cirrhosis. People with hemochromatosis, absorb too much iron from their food. They are more likely to develop cirrhosis because of the high levels of iron in their liver. 

(vi) Aflatoxins These cancer causing substances are produced by a fungus that contaminates crops. Long term exposure may cause Hepatocellular carcinoma. 

(vii) Arsenic Chronic exposure to drinking water contaminated with naturally occurring arsenic such as that from wells, increases the risk of liver cancer.  

(4) Metastasis: - 

Mostly when cancer is found in the liver, it did not start there but spread, or metastasized from a cancer that developed in the other organs of the body such as pancreas, colon, stomach, breast, or lung, and metastasized to the liver. These tumors are named after their primary site of occurrences and are further known as metastasis. For example, cancer that started in the lung and spread to the liver is called metastatic lung cancer with spread to the liver.  

(5) Diagnosis: - 

The following methods are used by modern science in the diagnsis of liver cancer. 

(i) Ultrasound

(ii) Computed tomography (CT)

(iii) Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

(iv) Angiography

(v) Leproscopy

(vi) Biopsy

(vii) Alpha-fetoprotein blood test.  

(6) Staging: - 

(i) Stage 1 The tumor may be small or large but has not affected blood vessles.

(ii) Stage 2 There may be many tumors of large size but blood vessles are not yet affected.

(iii) Stage 3-a There are several tumors, and at least one is larger than 5 cms. And a tumor invades a branch of major liver blood vessles. (Portal vein or Hepatic vein)

(iv) Stage 3-b A tumor invades a nearby organ or a tumor has penetrated the lining of the liver.

(v) Stage 3-c The cancer has invaded nearby lymph nodes.

(vi) Stage 4 The cancer has spread to other parts of the body. 

 

(7) Ayurvedic treatment of liver cancer ( Ayurvedic herbs and Ayurvedic preparations) 

Results of 770 patients of various types of cancer treated at DARF during Jan.2004 to Dec.2004. 

(1) Total no. of Primary cancer 504. In all 504 patients with primary cancer of various types were treated at DARF. 

  • 13% patients were rendered disease free
  • 20.63% patients were markedly improved
  • 65.27% patients were improved
  • 0.9% patients were uncured

(2) Total no. of Secondary (metastases) cancer 266. In all 266 patients with metastases of different types were treated at DARF. 

  • 12.03% patients were rendered disease free
  • 18.04% patients were markedly improved
  • 68.79% patients were improved
  • 1.12% patients were uncured

The above results show the high effectiveness of DARF anti cancer therapy. 

(3) Ayurveda Herbs Used in the cure of liver cancer : -

Effect of herbotherapy treatment of Liver cancer

Shree Shree Maa Anantanand Tirthji

Divyajyot Ayurvedic Research Foundation, `Anantdham',

Paldi Char Rasta, Ahmcdabad 380 007, Gujarat INDIA

Key words: Herbotherapy. LFT, primary and metastatic cancer

Abstract: Cancer is one of the most dangerous diseases: Liver cancer (Malignancies) is a terminal event in many cancers. Herbotherapy is a very effective treatment with no side effects. Citrus medica (Bijoru) is a fruit used since ancient times by the Ayurveda practitioners. Juice of a single bijoru fruit is given to the patients of primary as well as metastatic cancer registered at 'Divyajyot Ayurvedic research Foundation'. It improves patient's liver metabolism, gradually normalizes LFT, prevents recurrence, stops further spread of disease, decreases tumor growth. At the end of 4 to 6 months, patient becomes free from the disease symptoms and leads a normal life.

INTRODUCTION:

Liver is the largest gland in the body and performs more than 500 different functions. Primary liver Cancer is relatively rare but metastatic liver cancer (spread from a distant - cancerous organ) is at least 20 times more than primary liver cancer. Liver metastasis is a terminal event in many cancers. Advanced liver metastatic cancer is a significant problem with limited treatment options and has very little chances of survival. Chronic liver diseases includes viral hepatitis, Jaundice,, Alcoholic cirrhosis or primary billiary cirrhosis, hepatitis B, all these are risk factors of hepatocellular carcinoma. Males have higher risk for H CC than females. The metastasis can be either solitary or multiple. In case of multiple metastasis, liver function can become altered, leading to further deterioration in a patient's condition. The treatment options in such a scenario are limited with a usual fatal outcome. Common symptoms found in these patients are hepatomegaly, weight loss, abnormal elevation of liver enzymes, elevation of AFP, Anemia, mass or multiple liver lesions, obstructive jaundice... etc. For the detection of liver carcinoma, elevation of AFP, USG Abdomen, CT scan or MRI of abdomen, needle biopsy or laproscopic liver biopsy is helpful.

100 patients are selected to be screened for " Citrus medica" juice effects on their disease, registered at `Divyajyot Ayurvedic Research Foundation'. The chief of the investigating team and head of the institute "Vaidya Shree Shree Maa Anantanand Tirthaji" and other research committee members, along with their assistant research, doctors and scientist conducted the whole project.

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES:

1. The aim is to study the effects of the juice of the "Citrus medica'", popularly known as "Bijora", in the treatment of patients having primary or metastatic liver cancers with improving liver functions.

2. One of the most "ancient" medical sciences of the world is "Ayurveda". Ayurvedic medicine has no side effects. Since 1978 Vaidya Shree Shree Maa Anantanand Tirdhji treats all types of advanced cancers with different types of anti cancer treatments, somr of them are panchkarma therapy and herbal juice therapy. These treatments find excellent results. The institute is working towards providing the patients with a cure for this terrible disease.

3. To document the data and publish it to enrich the general quantum of medical knowledge.

CRITERIA FOR SELECTION:

All the patients registered at `Divyajyot Ayurvedic Research Foundation' hospital were assessed and selected irrespective of sex, cast creed and age for their present symptoms of abdominal pain, jaundice, hardness of liver side in abdomen, weight loss, loss of appetite. etc... Their clinical investigations at the time of registration prove their site with respect to cancer.

MATERIAL AND METHOD:

Material: Scientific name: Citrus medica L. Common name: Bijoru Family: Rutaceae Useful Parts:Fruit.

Uses: It is used in all kinds of liver diseases, like liver cirrhosis, jaundice, damaged liver. function, viral hepatitis B and C, primary and secondary liver malignancies.

Methods: All patients registered at `Divyajyot Ayurvedic Research Foundation' were given specially prepared treatment.

Their respective findings were analyzed for statistical significance. Patients with liver diseases underwent baseline investigations in the form of liver function test, tumor marker studies, Ultra sound examination of liver and detailed documentation of clinical status. The patient are administered a glass of single Bijora fruit juice in the early morning with empty stomach followed after two hours. This must be continued regularly at least for a minimum period of 3 months.

For the other symptoms patients were advised to take Ayurvedic medicines as per requirement after their prakruti examination and nadi pariksha. The following herbs were administered along with the treatment.

(1) Lindi piper (2) Morepinchh bhasma (3) Kapur kachali churna (4) Tapvadi loh• Kanchnar (5) Bhoamli (6) Vikalo (7) Vayavarno (8) Garmalo (9) Kunvarpathu.

These patients were also advised strict diet restriction like

(1)To stop ghee and oil preparations completely. (2)To avoid spicy food. (3)To take boiled vegetables. (4)To take goat milk. (5)To take papaya and all kinds of citrus fruit.

Their clinical status and biochemical parameters were studied at the interval of 4 to 6 weeks. The course was carried out for at least 3 months. If the juice gives gives positive response it can be increased up to 6 months. After 6 months, radiological investigations were also carried out.

CRITERIA OF ASSESMENT:

(1) All symptoms of liver cancer were reported at the time of patient's registration. The symptoms when reassessed and if improved or scored as symptomatically relief and LFT (Liver Function Test) is encouraging, is considered to be as ` Improved'.

(2) Patient who is observed to be symptomatically normal from disease and LFT is normal and radiological findings are also near about normal, is considered to be 'Markedly Improved'.

(3) Those patients with all investigations like radiological and hematological reports normal, are considered ‘Disease Free’.

(4) Patients with symptoms in status quo or increased are considered to be ` Uncured'.

RESULTS:

Total numbers of selected primary cancer patients were 30. Total numbers of selected metastases cancer patients were 70.

Table: 1 Results of primary and metastatic liver cancer patients

Status

Improved

Markedly
Improved

Disease Free

Uncured

Total

Primary

7

12

5

6

30

Metastatic

31

20

12

7

70

 

Table: 2 Nadi disturbances in primary and metastatic cancer patients

Status

Dwidosh Prakriti

Tridosh Prakriti

Total

Primary

20

10

30

Metastatic

25

45

70

Table: 3 Results of Bijora juice therapy in primary and metastatic liver cancer
Patients with respect to their liver function

Liver Function Test

Primary

Metastatic

Status Quo/Increased

20%

10%

Improves upto 30%

23%

44%

Improves more than 50%

40%

29%

Normal

17%

17%

Conclusions: -

1 A single Bijora juice early in the morning with empty stomach upto 3 months daily gives very positive results.
2 It improves metabolism, liver function and appetite of the patient.
3 It gradually minimizes the symptoms like nadi dosha, imbalance of prakriti and disturbances in the constitution of patient.
4 It dissolves the tumor gradually.
5 This juice therapy gives rapid results in metastatic cancer than primary cancer.
6 Dwidosh Prakriti is common in primary cancer patients. Metastatic cancer patients have more often a tridosh prakriti.
7 It maintains Hemoglobin level indirectly by gradually improving liver functions.
8 Few patients having advance nature of disease may not be cured.

 

(Prepared by Divyajyot Ayurvedic Research foundation India. We are conducting research and treatment in Ayurvedic herbal cure of cancer since last 25 years. The data and information contained on this site is based on Ayurvedic herbal wisdom and our research.)