Hepatocellualar Adenomas are less common benign liver tumors. They occur most often in women of childbearing age and have been linked to oral contraceptive use, where higher doses of estrogen were used. Since these tumors generally do not cause symptoms, most are never detected and they rarely cause problems. Hepatocellular adenomas may grow in women who take hormone pills, so doctors will often advise discontinuing birth control pills or hormones to prevent further growth. The goal of this treatment is to shrink the tumor, but if this does not occur, surgery may be indicated.
Sometimes, cancer may arise in the cells of the liver itself. Cancer of the hepatocytes (the main functioning liver cell) is a primary liver cancer called hepatocellular carcinoma or hepatoma. Hepatoma usually grows in the liver as one or more round tumors, invading and destroying the normal tissue as it expands. Such primary liver cancer can also spread to other parts of the body including the lungs and lymph nodes . Within the liver, cancer can also arise from the tubes that carry the bile. These bile duct cancers called intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma are less common than hepatoma and hard to detect. Today's discussion will focus on hepatocellular carcinoma or hepatoma.