How commonly do Benign Liver Tumors occur? Types and Treatment

October 29, 2023 Liver Section 122 Views

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Benign liver tumors are relatively common. They can occur in people of all ages and are often discovered incidentally during medical imaging for other conditions. Some common types of benign liver tumors include hemangiomas, hepatic adenomas, and focal nodular hyperplasia. 

While they are generally non-cancerous and do not require treatment unless they cause symptoms or complications, consult a doctor for proper evaluation and management if you suspect you have a liver tumor. The prevalence of these tumors can vary, but they are generally considered common benign liver lesions.

What are the types of benign liver growths ?

There are several types of benign liver growths . Some of the most common types include:

  • Hemangiomas: These are composed of blood vessels and are usually small and asymptomatic.
  • Hepatic Adenomas: These are typically hormone-related and can be associated with oral contraceptive use or pregnancy.
  • Focal Nodular Hyperplasia (FNH): These tumors consist of abnormal tissue growth and a central scar. They are usually noncancerous.
  • Liver Cysts: These are fluid-filled sacs that can develop in the liver.
  • Biliary Cysts: These cysts form in the bile ducts of the liver.
  • Inflammatory Pseudotumors: These are noncancerous growths that can mimic malignant tumors but are not actually cancer.
  • Lipomas: These are fatty tumors that can develop in the liver.

While these tumors are benign, they may require monitoring or treatment if they become symptomatic or if there is uncertainty about their nature. Diagnosis and management should be carried out by a healthcare professional based on individual circumstances.

What are the symptoms of benign liver tumors?

Benign liver tumors often do not cause any symptoms and are discovered incidentally during medical imaging for other reasons. However, in some cases, they can lead to symptoms or complications. Common symptoms can include:

  • Pain or discomfort in the upper right abdomen.
  • A feeling of fullness or bloating in the abdomen.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Unexplained weight loss.
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), although this is less common with benign tumors.
  • Changes in appetite.

Many people with benign liver tumors do not experience any symptoms, and the tumors are only identified through routine imaging or examinations.

Do Benign Liver Growths become cancerous?

Most benign tumors, such as hemangiomas, focal nodular hyperplasia, and simple liver cysts, typically do not become cancerous. These tumors are usually noncancerous growths and are considered low risk in terms of malignant transformation.

However, there is a type of benign liver growth called hepatic adenoma that has a slightly increased risk of becoming cancerous, particularly in cases where they are large, multiple, or associated with specific risk factors like the long-term use of oral contraceptives. This is relatively rare, but it’s important to monitor hepatic adenomas, and in some cases, surgical removal may be recommended to reduce the risk of complications.

Most benign liver tumors are not cancerous, some specific types may carry a slightly increased risk, and their management depends on the tumour type and individual factors. Regular medical evaluation and monitoring are crucial for assessing the nature of the tumor and determining the appropriate course of action.  ( Know more about- What are Liver Diseases ? )

How to confirm I have Benign Liver Growth?

To confirm whether you have a benign liver tumor, you will typically undergo a series of medical assessments and diagnostic tests, which may include:

  • Medical History and Physical Examination: Your healthcare provider will discuss your symptoms, medical history, and perform a physical examination.
  • Blood Tests: Blood tests can help assess liver function and identify any markers that might suggest a liver issue.
  • Imaging Studies: Various imaging techniques can be used to visualize the liver and identify tumors. Common imaging methods include ultrasound, computed tomography (CT) scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and sometimes positron emission tomography (PET) scans.
  • Biopsy: In some cases, a biopsy may be necessary to confirm the nature of the liver tumor. A small sample of liver tissue is collected and examined under a microscope. However, for certain liver lesions, biopsy may carry some risks and is not always needed.
  • Monitoring and Follow-Up: In some instances, especially when the tumor appears to be benign and isn’t causing significant symptoms, your healthcare provider may recommend regular monitoring through imaging studies to track any changes in the tumor over time.

Consult a doctor if you suspect you have a liver tumour or are experiencing symptoms related to your liver. They will determine the appropriate diagnostic steps based on your individual case and provide guidance on treatment or management options if a benign liver tumor is confirmed. ( Know more about- What is Liver Transplant Surgery ? )

What is the treatment for Benign Liver Tumors?

The treatment for benign liver tumors depends on the type of tumor, its size, location, and whether it is causing symptoms or complications. In many cases, benign liver tumors do not require treatment and can be monitored over time. 

However, if treatment is necessary, the following options may be considered:

  • Observation: Small, asymptomatic benign liver tumors, such as hemangiomas, may only require regular monitoring through imaging studies to ensure they are not growing or causing issues.
  • Surgery: Surgical removal of the tumor is an option for larger benign liver tumors or if they are causing symptoms, are at risk of rupture, or there is uncertainty about their nature. This is more common for hepatic adenomas.
  • Interventional Procedures: In some cases, interventional radiology procedures may be performed. These include techniques like embolization or radiofrequency ablation to shrink or destroy the tumor.
  • Medication: In specific situations, your healthcare provider may recommend medications or hormonal therapy to manage certain types of benign liver tumors, like hepatic adenomas.

The appropriate treatment approach should be determined by a doctor based on the specific characteristics of the tumor and the individual patient’s condition. Get best treatment for a benign liver tumour at H N Reliance Hospital Mumbai.

Also early diagnosis of liver tumor improves the treatment outcomes and prognosis. Get a full body checkup done at the best hospitals in India. 

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