A Answers (7)
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI) answeredThere are several treatment options for liver cancer; however there are three main goals of treatment: to get rid of the cancer, to keep it from spreading, and to control symptoms. Possible treatment options may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, ablation (heating, freezing, or using alcohol to eliminate cancer cells), embolization (blocking the cancer's blood supply), and targeted therapy (using drugs that stop tumor growth). Treatment is chosen based on the location, size, and number of the tumors, as well as how far the cancer has spread in your body. Oftentimes, several of the treatment options will be combined.
Johns Hopkins Medicine answered
Your doctors will design a treatment plan for you that will likely include some combination of the following:Surgery
Ablation techniques, which destroy the tumor by heating it.
Intra-arterial therapies, which aim therapy directly to the tumor, killing it without subjecting the rest of the body to side effects.
Tomoaki Kato, Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism, answered on behalf of Columbia University Department of Surgery
There are a number of ways to treat liver cancer. In this video, transplant surgeon Dr. Tomoaki Kato discusses the effectiveness of local or regional radiation for treating liver cancer.
When the tumor is localized and small, physicians may recommend liver transplant. Non-transplant options are often used as a bridge to transplant, while the patient is awaiting a donor organ.
Surgery to remove the entire tumor is effective if the cancer has not spread and if the patient's liver function has not been overly compromised by cirrhosis.
Minimally invasive techniques including laparoscopic surgery and hand-assisted laparoscopic surgery allow for resection of up to 60% of the liver without need for large incisions.
Radiofrequency ablation (RFA), the directing of thermal energy directly to the tumor, is an option for tumors 5 cm or more. The procedure can often be conducted on an outpatient basis with a minimal access approach utilizing ultrasound to guide the ablation probe.
Transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE) involves shutting off blood flow from the hepatic artery to the tumor in combination with delivery of a chemotherapeutic agent to the tumor. The technique spares normal liver tissue, which is not as dependent as the tumor upon the hepatic artery for its blood supply. Effectiveness of TACE, as with other therapies, is dependent upon size and extent of the hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
The term liver cancer can refer to both primary cancer of the liver such as hepatocellular cancer or cholangiocarcinoma and secondary cancer such as metastases.
Most people are referring to hepatocellular cancer with the term liver cancer. It is treated with a combination approach using liver transplant or resection depending upon liver function. This is often done in conjunction with some regional therapy such as chemoembolization/radioembolization or ablation. Medical treatment consists of Sorafenib or Nexavar.
Your cancer expert should use a multidisciplinary approach to evaluate these tumors and then decide upon a treatment plan.
Patrick Maguire, MD, Oncology, answeredThe main treatment for liver cancer or hepatocellular carcinomas (HCC) as well as cancers of the biliary tract is surgery. The tumor must be technically resectable, and the patient must be in good enough condition to undergo this major operation. Unfortunately, many patients aren't able to have surgery for one or both of these reasons. The two main categories of surgery for primary liver cancer are partial hepatectomy (removal of part of the liver) or orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT; liver transplant).
NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital answered
Surgery is often the preferred treatment for liver cancer. Advances in surgical tools and techniques, better imagining, and a better understanding of liver anatomy now make it possible for surgeons to remove up to 75% of a diseased liver while leaving the remaining liver to regenerate itself.
There are also other treatment options that may use in combination with surgery or on their own.
Radiofrequency ablation may be used for small tumors. With this technique, a special probe equipped with tiny electrodes that heat and kill cancer cells, is inserted through a tiny incision in the skin and guided to the tumor site by an ultrasound or CT scan.
For larger tumors, chemoembolization, may be used. With this technique, chemotherapy is injected into the hepatic artery via a catheter (narrow tube). The chemotherapy is combined with a substance that blocks off this artery (either permanently or temporarily), cutting off blood flow to the tumor and "starving" it.
Much of the chemotherapy is trapped near the tumor, which works directly on the cancer, while limiting the drug's contact with the rest of the body, therefore causing fewer side-effects than chemotherapies given systemically. The liver can continue getting blood from the other major hepatic blood supply, the portal vein, enabling it to function normally and continue to carry blood from the stomach and intestine.
IMRT and brachytherapy may also be used. In IMRT, precisely tumor-targeted radiation is given to treat the tumor, which spares healthy tissue. With brachytherapy, temporary or permanent radioactive seeds are placed near the tumor to deliver pinpointed radiation to the cancer.