Oncology

Liver Cancer

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Let us help you beat liver cancer!

The liver plays a vital role in the body by removing waste, filtering chemicals in ingested materials, and producing bile which helps aid in the digestive process. Cancer of the liver, also known as hepatic cancer starts when cells of the liver grow in an uncontrolled fashion. View our Liver Cancer Providers

Risk Factors

Factors that increase the risk of primary liver or hepatic cancer include:

  • Excessive alcohol consumption. Consuming more than a moderate amount of alcohol daily over many years can lead to irreversible liver damage and increase your risk of liver cancer. For women, this means no more than one drink a day. For men, this means no more than two drinks a day.
  • Viral Infections. If you are infected with either the hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV) your risk of liver cancer increases.
  • Cirrhosis. This progressive and irreversible condition causes scar tissue to form in your liver and increases your chances of developing cancer of the liver. Maintaining a healthy weight and reducing alcohol intake reduces your risk of cirrhosis.
  • Certain inherited liver diseases. Liver diseases that can increase the risk of cancer include hemochromatosis and Wilson’s disease.
  • People with diabetes have a greater risk of developing this type of cancer than those who don’t have diabetes.
  • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. An accumulation of fat in the liver increases the risk of liver cancer.

Signs and Symptoms

In the early stages of primary liver cancer, signs and symptoms are not clearly evident.  However, if you are experiencing any of the symptoms below, contact your physician for an evaluation.

  • Weight Loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Upper abdominal pain (lump or pain in the right side below the rib cage)
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • General weakness and fatigue
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Yellow discoloration of your skin and the whites of your eyes (jaundice)
  • White, chalky stools

Diagnosis

Blood Test
A doctor will most commonly search for alpha-fetoprotein in the blood. This protein is found in healthy adults in extremely low levels, unless the patient is pregnant. An elevated amount in the blood may indicate the presence of liver cancer.

Imaging Tests
A CT scan is often the most reliable imaging test to discover the extent of liver damage, but an ultrasound or angiogram (which focuses on the patient’s blood vessels in the case of potential instances of angiosarcoma) may be performed as well.

Biopsy
The doctor will remove a piece of liver tissue using a needle. The sample of tissue will be sent to a laboratory to be tested by a pathologist. The test will determine if cancerous cells are present.

We provide treatment options for:

  • Primary liver cancers (cancers that start in the liver), such as hepatocellular carcinoma,
  • Metastatic cancer to the liver (cancers that start in another part of the body and spread to the liver)
  • Benign (noncancerous) liver masses
  • Chronic liver diseases, such as hepatitis and cirrhosis

Types

Cancers of the liver can start in the liver cells themselves (hepatocellular carcinoma), in the cells of the bile ducts (cholangiocarcinoma), or other tissues (i.e. sarcomas) within the liver.

Treatments

Treatment is individualized based on the characteristics of the liver cancer and the patient themselves. However, the most common treatment options include:

Schedule a Consultation

To request an appointment or obtain a second opinion on your diagnosis, please call the CareMount Medical Cancer Center referral line at 1-844-484-3292.

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