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Liver diseases: The enemy with an accomplice

by Medindia Content Team on  May 7, 2003 at 5:53 PM General Health News   - G J E 4
Liver diseases: The enemy with an accomplice
Some diseases are typical to a period. The previous decades have shown a spurt of diseases like chronic viral hepatitis and liver cancer. Death toll due to these diseases have steadily risen. With figures soaring above the estimated limits, and with scientists finding a new association between these two diseases that affect the liver, a new awareness has been created among the researchers. For several years researchers have been studying hepatocellular cancer cases and have found that all the patients were suffering from a heavy form of chronic hepatitis.
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The scientists have been investigating 49 fatal cases of hepatocellular cancer and therefore it turned out to be possible to conduct not only inter vivos but also pathologoanatomic investigations. The patients' case histories say that some time in the past each of them had an intrusion into circulatory system: these persons had either been donors, or had been operated on, subjected to blood transfusion or intravenous injections. Under a microscope their liver looked as it should look like in case of a sluggish chronic viral hepatitis. However, 65% of the patients got to know that they are ill with hepatitis only during their last hospitalization. In two cases this diagnosis was made posthumously.

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In some cases the disease was caused by the virus of hepatitis B; there have also been cases when there was a combination of both viruses. Sometimes physicians were unable to define the virus although the viral nature of hepatitis was undoubted. This probably testifies to the fact that we do not know yet all the viruses that affect liver. Having defined the virus, the physicians found out how it is distributed in the liver. It appeared that the virus of hepatitis B is present mainly in the liver tissue whereas the virus of hepatitis C was present in tumor cells in large quantities. Evidently, the mechanisms of their destructive effect are different; the patients though do not need to go deeply into such details. The main thing for them is the result but the latter is not consoling: the sluggish chronic viral hepatitis in its last stage, the stage of cirrhosis, is fraught with the development of hepatocellular cancer. Thus we see that there is a very close association between cirrhosis and the liver cancer, otherwise termed as hepatocellular cancer. Now many countries have become aware of the destructive effects and hence are making a detailed research to extend the study of the traits of the virus.
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