Hepatocellular carcinoma is the most common type of cancer originating in the liver. It usually occurs in people with severe liver scarring.
– Liver surgery or transplant
– Radiofrequency ablation, chemoembolization, or internal radiation therapy
Treatment for hepatocellular carcinoma depends on the stage of the cancer. Small tumors that are confined to the liver can be treated with a liver transplant.
Only a liver transplant or surgical removal of the cancer offers hope for a cure. However, when cancer is removed surgically, it often recurs. Also, getting rid of cancer may not be possible in people with cirrhosis because too much of their liver is damaged. You can read this article to view other treatment procedures to cure hepatocellular carcinoma.
When a transplant or surgery is not possible, or the person is waiting for a liver transplant, treatments that target the tumor and the surrounding area may be used. This treatment can help slow the growth of the cancer and relieve symptoms.
Doctors may inject chemicals into cancer blood vessels that kill cancer cells. Or they use treatments that supply cancer cells with energy and thereby destroy them. There are three such treatments:
– Radio frequency ablation (which uses electricity)
– Hemoembolization (which uses chemotherapy)
– Selective internal radiation therapy (which uses radiation)
However, this treatment does not kill all cancer cells. Radiation therapy outside the body is usually not effective. Chemotherapy drugs may be injected into the vein that released the tumor (called hemoembolization). Injection of chemotherapy drugs directly into the hepatic artery delivers large amounts of drugs directly to cancer cells in the liver.