There are two types of liver cancer; primary liver cancer which begins in the liver tissue itself and metastasized liver cancer which is a secondary liver cancer that originates in the other parts of the body and then spreads to the liver.
Cancer cells can travel easily to the liver because of its function in filtering blood. It most commonly spreads from the colon, breast, pancreas, stomach or lungs. This liver cancer disease can be detected through the use of a tumor marker also known as alpha-feto protein which is found in the blood.
It can also be detected through the use of x-rays but it can only be detected during the latent period of the disease which is difficult to treat. Liver biopsies (removal of a tissue) can also be done to detect if the tissues removed are, in fact, malignant.
Proper liver function is the key to good overall health. Unfortunately, the liver's own metabolic properties can work against it. Substances such as chemicals and preservatives or standard medications, while not necessarily carcinogenic, can be rendered so when they pass through the liver. This is a primary cause of liver cancer in cats, particularly tumors that start within the liver itself.
Scheduling a regular exam is in your best interest and will help you to detect colon cancer in the earlier stages. Signs and symptoms can take weeks or months to become obvious, so if you are in the risk categories for developing colon cancer, regular exams are very important. Contact your physician immediately if you suspect that anything may be wrong.