The system consisting of the liver, gallbladder, and bile ducts is collectively referred to as the hepatobiliary system. This is the system that is responsible for nutrient absorption and removal of toxins. When diseases like cancer affect this system, they impair the normal function of digestion. This can result in health effects on the overall body functions, systems, and organs. Patients need to be on the watch for any signs that may indicate an individual is suffering from hepatobiliary malignancies and get an exam immediately if such signs surface. If one is diagnosed with this type of cancer, early treatment is critical.
Cancer treatment is most effective when the diagnosis is made early and treatment sought right away. Here are ways patients may be able to get early treatment for these diseases and cancers related to the hepatobiliary system:
Watch for the Signs
Most cancer symptoms are hard to pinpoint, especially during the early stages of the disease development. However, there are some symptoms that may present as early warning signs of possible cases of cancer of the hepatobiliary system including back pain, weight loss, vomiting, jaundice, weakness, and an abdominal mass.
A person may also experience loss of appetite and changes in bowel movements including the frequency of his or her bowel movements. A point to note is that these symptoms can also occur as the result of other diseases and they may not mean that you have cancer of the hepatobiliary system. However, doctors can perform tests to find out if a patient has cancer.
Receive Regular Screenings
An effective way of finding out if a person has cancer is to receive regular screening. Screening can help detect cancer among people who have no existing symptoms. People who are at risk of having hepatobiliary malignancies, for example those having chronic cirrhosis, may need to undergo regular screenings every few months.
Tests such as AFP blood tests may be used to help detect a particular protein in blood, which may indicate presence of cancer of the liver. An ultrasound is another procedure that can reveal tumors in the body. Other tools for diagnosis include CT Scans, MRIs, X-Rays and PET Scans, which can show the extent and location of the cancer.
Seek Treatment from the Right Doctor
If you have been diagnosed with a hepatobiliary malignancy, treatment should begin immediately. A doctor will look at many things before determining the kind of treatment to offer including the location of tumor, its origin, and the advancement of the cancer. You may want to seek help of a surgeon who specializes in cancer. Surgical oncologists may use techniques like minimally-invasive or laparoscopic surgery to remove the tumors.
The hepatobiliary system is very important in your body. It plays an important role of processing foods, vitamins, medicine, and minerals. Whenever a disease develops in the system, it can cause serious health problems thereby ruining the health of a person. Make sure you get early treatment for hepatobiliary malignancies. This way, a doctor may be able to correct or treat the disease and help you improve your health.