Liver Cancer treatment

Treatment for liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), depends on several factors including the stage of the cancer, the patient’s overall health, and the underlying liver function. Here are the common treatment options for liver cancer:

Surgery: Surgery may be an option for patients with early-stage liver cancer who have good liver function. The main surgical options include:

Liver resection: Removal of the part of the liver containing the tumor.
Liver transplant: Replacement of the diseased liver with a healthy liver from a donor. Liver transplantation is considered for select patients with early-stage liver cancer who meet specific criteria.
Ablation Therapy: Ablation techniques use heat or cold to destroy liver tumors. These minimally invasive procedures may be options for patients with small tumors or those who are not candidates for surgery. Types of ablation therapy include:

Radiofrequency ablation (RFA)
Microwave ablation (MWA)
Transarterial Chemoembolization (TACE): TACE involves delivering chemotherapy drugs directly into the blood vessels feeding the liver tumor, followed by blocking the blood supply to the tumor. This procedure helps deliver high concentrations of chemotherapy to the tumor while minimizing systemic side effects. TACE is often used for patients with intermediate-stage liver cancer or as a bridge to liver transplant.

Radioembolization (Yttrium-90 Radioembolization): Radioembolization involves delivering tiny radioactive beads directly into the blood vessels feeding the liver tumor. The beads deliver radiation to the tumor while sparing surrounding healthy liver tissue. Radioembolization is typically used for patients with unresectable liver cancer or those who are not candidates for other treatments.

Targeted Therapy: Targeted therapy drugs, such as sorafenib and lenvatinib, may be used to treat advanced or metastatic liver cancer. These drugs work by targeting specific molecular pathways involved in cancer growth and blood vessel formation.

Immunotherapy: Immunotherapy drugs, such as immune checkpoint inhibitors (e.g., nivolumab, pembrolizumab), may be used to treat advanced liver cancer. These drugs help the immune system recognize and attack cancer cells. Immunotherapy is typically used for patients with advanced liver cancer who have not responded to other treatments.

Chemotherapy: Systemic chemotherapy may be used to treat advanced liver cancer, although it is less commonly used compared to targeted therapy or immunotherapy. Chemotherapy drugs may be used alone or in combination with other treatments.

Supportive Care: Supportive care measures focus on managing symptoms, controlling pain, and improving quality of life for patients with advanced liver cancer. This may include medications, nutritional support, pain management, and palliative care.

Treatment decisions are made based on the individual patient’s specific situation and may involve a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals, including hepatologists, oncologists, surgeons, interventional radiologists, and other specialists. Early detection and treatment can improve outcomes for patients with liver cancer.

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