Liver Cancer

  • Overview

  • Symptoms

  • Diagnosis

  • Treatment

Overview

Liver cancer is more common as a metastasis, i.e. when the tumour has spread from another part of the body. Primary liver cancer tends to affect people after their 60s. There are six types of liver cancers.

Early Symptoms

Liver cancer may also be undetectable in the early stages. Doctors usually suspect it when screening for other liver diseases like hepatitis.

 

  • Symptoms of jaundice, i.e. yellowing of skin and whitening of the eyes.
  • Dark urine and light-hued stool
  • Poor health overall
  • Fever, fatigue, bloating or chronic itching
  • Swelling in the legs or abdomen
  • Pain in the abdomen

 

It is advisable to get the symptoms analysed early to get a proper diagnosis and timely treatment.

Diagnosis

  • Medical History
  • Physical Examination
  • Blood Tests
  • Imaging
  • Biopsy
  • Test for Fibrolamellar-Hepatocellular Carcinoma (FLL-HCC)

Treatment

Surgery: Surgery is often the best option for primary liver cancer. At time partial liver resection can be done

Liver Transplantation: This procedure is usually a good option for people with primary cancer, in which the tumours are small in number and size and have not spread to blood vessels in the vicinity.

Minimally Invasive Treatments: If surgery is avoidable, the tumours can be killed by minimally invasive techniques where imaging guides instruments within the body. Popular techniques are laparoscopy using robotic arms; ablation is the cutting, vapourising or melting a tumour with intense heat; Nanoknife sends electrical to make holes in the tumours and destroy them; embolisation and chemoembolisation interrupts blood flow to the cancer cells.

Chemotherapy: This may be given before surgery to shrink the tumour and after surgery to lower the risk of the cancer regenerating after surgery.

Radiation Therapy: There are two main types of radiation therapy, which may be used in combination with the above treatments. Image-guided radiation therapy uses real- time images for targeting tumours with greater accuracy. Liver tumours shift as the patient breathes; respiratory gating delivers radiation only at specific points during your breathing cycle.