What Are the Main Treatments for Liver Cancer?


Quick Answer

Treatment for liver cancer is based on the stage of the cancer and overall liver health but may include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy or ablation therapy, according to MedicineNet. Embolization and liver transplant may also be options.

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Full Answer

Surgery is sometimes the best option for liver cancer, according to MedicineNet. Surgery is only recommended when the tumor is small, since it involves removing the part of the liver where the cancer is found. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are also used to kill cancer cells in the liver, and both can be used in combination with surgery for a total treatment plan. Similarly, ablation therapy can use heat, acid or laser therapy to kill cancer cells.

Embolization is a type of liver cancer treatment therapy that involves blocking the supply of blood reaching the cancer, reports MedicineNet. During the procedure, a catheter is used to inject beads or other particles into the blood vessel to block it, thus starving the cancer of blood and preventing its growth.

Liver transplant is another option for certain patients diagnosed with liver cancer, reports MedicineNet. This involves the replacement of the diseased liver with a donor liver. Typically, liver transplant is an option for patients affected by advanced cirrhosis with very small tumors that cannot be removed.

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