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How is hepatocellular liver disease treated?

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Quick Answer

A variety of methods, including removal of the cancerous portion of the liver and surrounding tissue or liver transplant surgery, can treat hepatocellular carcinoma, the most common form of liver cancer, according to Mayo Clinic. Other possible treatments for liver cancer involve heating or freezing the liver's cancerous cells.

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Full Answer

Another option for treating liver cancer involves the injection of pure alcohol into the tumor, which can kill existing cancer cells, explains Mayo Clinic. The injection of chemotherapy drugs into the liver's hepatic artery, a process known as chemoembolization, may also shrink tumors, as this blocks the flow of blood to the tumor. Radiation therapy is an option for some liver cancer patients. In particular, these patients may benefit from the form of radiation therapy known as stereotactic radiosurgery, which directs many beams of radiation simultaneously at a single point in the body. In some cases target drug therapy may be appropriate. When such treatment is undertaken, the drugs hinder a tumor's growth by interfering with the growth of its blood vessels.

Only a physician can diagnose liver cancer, notes Mayo Clinic. To make a diagnosis, a physician may perform blood or imaging tests or may remove a sample of liver tissue for testing.

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