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Liver cancer claims the life of rock and roll legend, David Bowie

The recent passing of rock and roll icon David Bowie due to liver cancer came as a shock to the world last week. His influence and impact to fans throughout the world was clearly evident in the countless articles and discussions on both social media as well as traditional media outlets. Bowie kept his illness and condition private from everyone except his closest friends and family. Although speculations about his health had been discussed in the recent past, his passing came as a shock to most. So what is liver cancer and how does it affect its victim?

Affecting the human body's largest internal organ, liver cancer is defined as cancer that specifically begins in a victim's liver. The liver serves many functions and is essential. It stores breaks down, and metabolizes nutrients that have been absorbed in the body's intestines; it also secretes bile into the intestines to absorb nutrients. The liver is essential in the body's ability to clot blood in the event of an external injury and breaks down waste and toxins found in blood and purges them from the body.

There are a few types of liver cancer including hepatocellular cancer, the most common form, affecting 80 percent of liver cancer victims. Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma, or bile duct cancer, which affects between 10 and 20 percent of victims is also possible. Finally, angiosarcoma and hemangiosarcoma --which begin in cells which line the blood vessels of the liver -- and hepatoblastoma which is rare and primarily affects young children are also possibilities.

Those who are affected by liver cancer and other diseases which prevent a person from working may be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits. These benefits can make for a more comfortable lifestyle while battling the disease but can be complicated to process. Seeking the assistance of an experienced attorney can help those in such situations proceed in a logical and optimal manner.

Source: American Cancer Society, "What is liver cancer?," Accessed on Jan. 12, 2016

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