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Liver Cancer Treatment by Stage

Total Hepatectomy With Liver Transplantation
If localized liver cancer is unresectable because of poor liver function, some patients may be able to have a liver transplant. While the patient waits for a donated liver to become available, the healthcare team monitors the patient's health and provides other treatments as necessary.

Treatment for Advanced Liver Cancer

Advanced liver cancer is found in both lobes of the liver or has spread to other parts of the body. Although advanced liver cancer cannot be cured, some patients receive anticancer therapy (chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or both) to try to slow the progress of the disease. Others discuss the possible benefits and side effects, and decide that they do not want to have anticancer therapy. In either case, patients receive palliative care to reduce their pain and control other symptoms.
Patients may consider taking part in a clinical trial. Treatment may be a clinical trial of biological therapy, chemotherapy, and/or radiation therapy with or without radiosensitizers. These treatments may be given as palliative therapy to help relieve symptoms and improve the patient's quality of life.

Treatment for Recurrent Liver Cancer

Recurrent liver cancer refers to cases where the disease has come back after initial treatment. Even when a tumor in the liver seems to have been completely removed or destroyed, the disease sometimes returns, because undetected cancer cells remained somewhere in the body after treatment. Most recurrences occur within the first two years of treatment.
Treatment for recurrent adult primary liver cancer may include the following:
  • Partial hepatectomy
  • Total hepatectomy and liver transplant
  • Chemotherapy (chemoembolization or systemic chemotherapy)
  • Percutaneous ethanol injection.
(You can read more about liver cancer treatment by going to the eMedTV article Liver Cancer Treatment.)
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