While those 147 days were filled with pain from chemotherapy treatment and blood transfusions, they were also filled with self-discovery, a blue wig, and an afternoon with Dave Navarro—a band member of Jane’s Addiction. The story of Adrienne Wilson’s journey lives on through Blue Faery: The Adrienne Wilson Liver Cancer Association, an organization founded by her sister Andrea. October is liver cancer awareness month, and through research, education, and advocacy, Blue Faery aims to prevent, treat, and cure primary liver cancer—specifically hepatocellular carcinoma, which accounts for about 75 percent of primary liver cancer. “I could not save Adrienne from liver cancer, but I have made it my mission to tell her story and to help others suffering from this devastating disease,” Andrea Wilson Woods said.
According to Wilson Woods, the complexity of hepatocellular carcinoma makes it challenging to treat. "It is a disease within a disease making it extremely important that community oncologists understand the complexity of hepatocellular carcinoma so they can better serve their patients," she said. For patients with liver cancer and their loved ones, Wilson Woods urges them to seek a second opinion. "This option is easier now with telehealth and often providers will give a second opinion at no charge, especially for virtual visits. Also, look at clinical trials, they need to become a first option, not a last resort," Wilson Woods said.
Liver cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related death globally, responsible for more than 700,000 deaths worldwide each year. In the United States, incidence rates of liver cancer in young adults have started to decline; however, the incidence of liver cancer in adults has more than tripled over the last 40 years. Nationally, death rates from liver cancer have increased by about one percent each year for women and have stabilized for men.
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