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Liver Cancer Hepatocellular Carcinoma (cont.)

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What is the treatment for liver cancer?

The treatment chosen depends upon how much the cancer has spread and the general health of the liver. For example, the extent of cirrhosis (scarring) of the liver can determine the treatment options for the cancer. Similarly, the spread and extent of spread of cancer beyond the liver tissue plays an important part in treatment options.

Surgery: Liver cancer can be treated sometimes with surgery to remove the part of liver with cancer. Surgical options are reserved for smaller sizes of cancer tumors.

Liver transplant: The doctor replaces the cancerous liver with a healthy liver from another person. It is usually used in very small unresectable (not able to be removed) liver tumors in patients with advanced cirrhosis.

Ablation therapy: This is a procedure that can kill cancer cells in the liver without any surgery. The doctor can kill cancer cells using heat, laser, or injecting a special alcohol or acid directly into the cancer. This technique may be used in palliation when the cancer is unresectable.

Embolization: Blocking the blood supply to the cancer can be done using a procedure called embolization. This technique uses a catheter to inject particles or beads that can block blood vessels that feed the cancer. Starving the cancer of the blood supply prevents the growth of the cancer. This technique is usually used on patients with large liver cancer for palliation.

Radiation therapy: Radiation uses high-energy rays directed to the cancer to kill cancer cells.

Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy uses a medicine that kills cancer cells. The medicine can be given by mouth or by injecting it into a vein.

Sorafenib is an oral medication that can prolong survival (up to 3 months) in patients with advanced liver cancer.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/17/2014

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Liver Cancer - Symptoms Question: Did you have symptoms associated with your liver cancer?
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Liver Cancer - Liver Disease Question: Did you have liver disease before developing liver cancer?
Liver Cancer - Treatment Question: What kinds of treatment, including surgery, have been used for liver cancer in you or a relative?


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