Cirrhosis of the liver can go to cancer?


Cirrhosis develops as a result of the long-lasting inflammatory process in the liver. The death of hepatocytes, that is, liver cells, leads to their replacement with a connective tissue, because of which the organ can not perform its functions, and hepatic failure occurs.

Cirrhotic changes in the liver are noted after 10-20 years of the course of hepatitis of various origin. Complete recovery of cirrhosis is impossible, however, following the recommendations of a doctor, you can suspend the destruction of hepatocytes and extend the patient's life for 7-10 years.

Of course, one must take into account the presence and severity of the concomitant pathology (diabetes, kidney failure and other diseases of the digestive tract). In the case of a decompensated form of the disease, the 3-year survival rate does not exceed 15-35%.

Is cirrhosis a cancer or not?

Often you can hear the opinion that cirrhosis and cancer - it's the same ailment. However, this assumption is erroneous, although the causes, symptoms and outcome are practically the same.

Cirrhosis is considered to be a precancerous pathology, and in 50-85% of cases, cancerous lesions develop against the background of cirrhotic changes in the liver structures. They are gradually replaced by a connective tissue, connective tissue nodules and "false" segments are formed. In this regard, distinguish between small- and coarse-nodular (diameter more than 3 millimeters) shape.

Unlike hepatitis, with cirrhosis it is impossible to restore the old structure of the organ. Men are more prone to cirrhosis and malignant transformation of cells than the female part of the population. This is due to alcohol abuse, which is considered one of the leading causes of cell death. Also, for frequent reasons, hepatitis C is of viral origin.

What is the difference between liver cancer and cirrhosis?

It is not always possible to distinguish between cancerous degeneration and cirrhotic lesions of the hepatic tissue symptomatically. Both diseases initially manifest dyspeptic digestive disorder (nausea, bloating, constipation or diarrhea), fatigue, weakness and appetite worsen. Also, worried about the severity or pain in the right upper quadrant.


Then ascites (accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity) is noted, the body weight decreases, skin "spider veins" appear and itch, due to an increase in the level of bilirubin in the blood and the development of jaundice.

How to distinguish cirrhosis from cancer?

In order to distinguish between cancer and cirrhotic processes, it is possible to study the level of alpha-fetoprotein by means of laboratory tests, the increase of which indicates a malignant transformation. This test is carried out twice a year for patients with cirrhosis of the liver in order to timely diagnose malignancy.

Among instrumental diagnostics, computer or magnetic resonance imaging is often prescribed. Thanks to these techniques, it was possible to visualize the cancer, to estimate its size, consistency, to detect germination in surrounding tissues and defeat of neighboring bodies. Also, ultrasound examination of the abdominal cavity is widely used.

Having performed radiography with barium, it is possible, by indirect signs, to suspect a malignant disease. These include:

  • gastric pressure left;
  • Lowering the right half of the intestine down;
  • Detection of defects in the antral (outlet) zone and body of the stomach due to external pressure.

In addition, depressions along the contour of the gallbladder and the superior bulb of the duodenum can be recorded.

Cirrhosis of the liver

Can liver cirrhosis go to cancer?

As already mentioned, cirrhosis is a precancerous condition of the liver and in 70-80% of cases leads to cell malignancy. Most often, cancerous lesions are detected against a background of macronodular cirrhosis.

In half the cases, cirrhotic changes in the hepatic tissue are diagnosed at the stage of malignant transformation of the organ structures. In the remaining 50%, the interval from the stage of cirrhosis to cancer degeneration is no more than 5 years.

Regardless of the cause of malignancy on the background of cirrhosis, the prognosis for life is unfavorable. Survival in the next 5 years after diagnosing the disease is about 7%. Most of the deaths occur in the first 2 years.

The disease is rapidly progressing, so even with a combination of intra-arterial and intra-portal chemotherapy, life expectancy can be extended to a maximum of one year.

Liver cancer

Factors in the influence of which, liver cirrhosis can go to cancer

Malignant transformation of hepatic cells against cirrhosis may be due to:

  • long-term inflammation of viral genesis (hepatitis B, C);
  • severe alcohol or drug intoxication (long-term use of "Methotrexate "Isoniazid "Methyldopy");
  • infection with parasitic pathogens (amoebiasis, opisthorchiasis);
  • exacerbation of cholelithiasis;
  • influence of carcinogens in the process of working with pesticides, nitrosamines, arsenic.

In addition, the predisposing factors that increase the risk of degeneration into cancer, include the pathology of metabolism, enzymatic deficiency, Wilson's disease and surgical interventions on neighboring organs (stomach, pancreas, intestines).

The result of these factors is the cancerous transformation of altered cells and connective tissue nodal neoplasms.

Considering the fact thatcirrhosis of the livercan cause malignant tissue, it is recommended to adhere to some recommendations to reduce the risk of cancer. It is enough to normalize the nutritional diet, to control the use of alcohol, medicines, and also to treat inflammatory liver diseases in a timely manner.


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