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When liver cancer is found early, treatment is more likely to be effective. Surgery is the typical treatment recommended in such cases. If the cancer has progressed to more advanced stages, options may include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and injections. While such treatments for liver cancer are not expected to cure the disease, they may help manage it and improve the person's quality of life.

Liver Cancer Treatment: An Overview

At this time, liver cancer can be cured only when it is found at an early stage (before it has spread) and only if the person is healthy enough to have an operation. However, treatment for liver cancer other than surgery may be able to control the disease and help people live longer and feel better.
When curing or controlling the disease is not possible, some people and their doctors choose palliative therapy. Palliative therapy aims to improve the quality of a person's life by controlling pain and other problems caused by the disease.
Some factors that may influence the liver cancer treatment options include:
  • The stage of the cancer (see Stages of Liver Cancer)
  • The number, size, and location of tumors
  • Whether the cancer has spread outside the liver
  • The person's age
  • The person's general health.
In general, treatment options for liver cancer include:
Your doctor can describe your treatment options and the expected results of each. The two of you can work together to develop a treatment plan that meets your medical needs and personal values. Choosing the most appropriate treatment for liver cancer is a decision that ideally involves the patient, family, and healthcare team.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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