Liver cancers & conditions
The liver is the largest organ in the body. It is located on the right side of the body, beneath your diaphragm and on top of your stomach. The liver consists of two lobes and holds about 13 percent of the body's blood at any time. The liver makes bile, a fluid used in digestion; helps remove drugs and other substances from the blood; produces some proteins that become part of blood plasma; regulates blood clotting; stores vitamins needed by the body; and helps the body fight infections.
Common liver conditions
Some of the most common conditions affecting the liver include:
- Hepatitis. This is liver inflammation that can cause permanent damage. This can be caused by viruses, drugs, alcohol or even parasites.
- Alcoholic liver disease. This is the result of alcohol use.
- Liver tumors. These abnormal growths on or in the liver can be malignant (cancerous) or benign (noncancerous).
- Fatty liver. Simply put, this is a buildup of fat cells in the liver.
- Fibrosis of the liver. This occurs when excessive scar tissue forms after infection, inflammation or trauma.
- Cirrhosis of the liver. This is the most common liver disease for which transplants are done. In a patient with cirrhosis, a fiber-like tissue covers the liver and prevents toxins and other harmful substances from leaving the liver.
Novant Health Hepatobiliary and Pancreas Specialists uses advanced diagnostic tools and procedures including liver biopsies, ultrasounds and X-rays to identify liver cancers and conditions. Your provider will use that information to develop the best treatment plan for each patient and condition. That plan might involve medicinal management, surgery to remove part or all of the liver, or a complete liver transplant.
The liver is the only organ in the body able to regenerate. So, if you receive a transplant of a section of liver from a living donor, that section can be quickly functioning at normal capacity.