According to recent scientific studies, it has been observed that the risk of liver cancer increases 2-3 times in people with diabetes compared to those without diabetes.
Underlining that this rate is also related to the increasing rate of obesity in diabetics, Anadolu Medical Center Medical Oncology Specialist Assoc. Dr. Yeşim Yıldırım said, “In those who are overweight, increased blood lipids and high blood sugar in the body can progress to liver cell damage and then to the development of cirrhosis or liver cancer through various mechanisms. In our age, especially with the increase of diabetes, we see that the cases of liver cancer are increasing. However, in the treatment of liver cancer, a serious progress has been made with smart drugs in the form of oral tablets. Nowadays, we can achieve much more successful results thanks to the combinations of immunotherapy and molecular therapy as the first choice, ”he said.
Assoc. Dr. Yeşim Yıldırım talked about the relationship between liver cancer and diabetes, as well as the latest developments in liver cancer treatment on the occasion of February 4, Cancer Day.
Emphasizing that liver cancer is a disease with an increasing prevalence in the last two decades, Anadolu Medical Center Medical Oncology Specialist Assoc. Dr. Yeşim Yıldırım said, “The most important factors causing liver cancer are chronic Hepatitis B (50 percent) and Hepatitis C (25 percent) infections. However, in recent years, 20% of hepatocellular cancers occur after fatty liver damage accompanied by obesity, type 2 diabetes, dyslipidemia and hypertension, and cirrhosis developed on the basis of fatty liver, and this risk factor is gradually increasing.
Diagnosis is made with MRI and tomography
Medical Oncology Specialist Assoc, who said that patients generally consult a doctor with signs of chronic liver disease and cirrhosis such as itching, jaundice, pain in the right upper part of the abdomen, spleen enlargement, abdominal distension, bleeding, weakening, prominence of vessels in the trunk. Dr. Yeşim Yıldırım said, “For the diagnosis, if there is an underlying cause such as hepatitis B, C, fatty liver that will cause chronic liver damage, only imaging methods can be diagnosed with MRI and tomography, because liver cancer has a typical image pattern in CT and MRI and biopsy not required in cases. However, in 25 percent of patients, there may not be an underlying cause. In this group, the diagnosis is made by biopsy ”.
While planning the treatment, many factors such as the location of the disease and the number of nodules should be evaluated.
Emphasizing that the location of the disease in the liver, the number and size of the nodules, whether there is accompanying cirrhosis, whether there are other diseases that may cause surgical inconvenience, general performance status and metastasis status should be evaluated in detail while planning the treatment, Medical Oncology Specialist Assoc. Dr. Yeşim Yıldırım said, “If the disease is only in the liver, options such as surgery and transplantation can be considered by looking at the number, size, location and reserve of the liver lesions. "If it is not suitable for surgery, treatment can be done with methods such as radiofrequency ablation (RFA), chemoembolization, radioembolization or radiotherapy, which are called local ablative treatments."
Combinations of immunotherapy and molecular therapy against liver cancer
Stating that if the disease is common and located outside the liver, that is, if it is metastatic, then systemic treatments are applied, Assoc. Dr. Yeşim Yıldırım said, “Liver cancer is not a cancer that responds to chemotherapy, so desired success has not been achieved in treatments for many years. However, in recent years, smart drugs in the form of oral tablets have started to make progress in treatments. Nowadays, much more successful results can be obtained with immunotherapy and molecular therapy combinations as the first choice, ”he said.