What Is Adenoma Liver Cancer?
Liver, or hepatocellular, adenomas are benign tumors that form in the liver.
Between 7 and 12 people out of 100,000 will get a liver adenoma at some point in their lives.
Rarely, liver adenomas become cancerous. When they do, doctors call this cancer hepatocellular carcinoma.
The risk of these tumors becoming cancer is up to 10 times higher in men than in women.
Adenoma liver cancer causes
Some people who get liver adenomas have changes in certain genes. Others have changes in specific proteins the body makes.
Doctors don't know for sure what causes liver adenomas to become cancerous. Researchers believe that having metabolic syndrome may be a factor.
Metabolic syndrome is the name for a group of risk factors that include:
- Being obese, chiefly with fat around your belly.
- High levels of triglyceride — a fat in your blood.
- Low levels of HDL, or good cholesterol.
- Untreated high blood pressure.
- High blood sugar levels or having diabetes.
You may also be at higher risk for adenoma liver cancer if you have cirrhosis or if your tumor is large.
Adenoma liver cancer risk factors and complications
Though adenoma liver cancer is more common in men, women might be at greater risk if they:
- Are pregnant.
- Take birth control pills.
- Use anabolic steroids (artificial testosterone).
- Have glycogen storage disease (your body can't break down this type of sugar).
- Have metabolic syndrome.
Rarely, a benign liver adenoma may rupture. If this occurs, the tumor bleeds into the stomach, and doctors will do emergency surgery to stop this bleeding.
Why choose the Center for Liver Diseases for adenoma liver cancer care?
At the UPMC Center for Liver Diseases, our experts diagnose and treat all liver conditions, including benign and cancerous liver adenomas.
And we work closely with experts in the UPMC Liver Cancer Center and the Liver Transplant Program to tailor each person's treatment.