Treatments Used for Liver Cancer
Liver Cancer is an abnormal development of cells that first appear in the liver but can potentially metastasize to other organs and tissues. Mutant cells expand and divide uncontrollably, leading to tumors or lumps. Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most prevalent kind of liver cancer in adults, develops in the main tissue of the liver.
The lining of the bile ducts within the liver is where 10% to 20% of liver cancers develop. These passageways, known as ducts, are responsible for transporting bile, a digestive fluid produced by the liver and then secreted into the gallbladder. Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma sometimes refers to intrahepatic bile duct cancer (IBDC).
For liver cancer, there are several therapy options. When proposing a course of therapy, your physician will consider several criteria.
These Consist of:
- The quantity, size, and location of liver tumors
- How effectively your liver is working
- The existence of cirrhosis
- If the disease has expanded to more organs
Treatment or a Combination of Treatments
Liver Cancer Treatments Include:
- Partial hepatectomy
During a partial hepatectomy, just a part of the liver is surgically removed. However, this procedure is usually reserved for cases with liver cancer in its earliest stages. The missing tissue will be regrown and replaced by the surrounding healthy tissue over time.
- Liver transplant
A healthy donor’s liver is surgically implanted into the patient’s body during a liver transplant. A transplant might be an option if the disease hasn’t progressed to other organs. After a liver transplant, you would need to take medicine to avoid your body from refusing the new liver.
Ablation is a method of cancer cell destruction that employs thermal, cold, or ethanol injections. Typically, just local anesthetic is required. If you’re in pain, this will numb the region, so you don’t feel it. Patients who are unsuitable for surgery or a transplant may benefit from ablation.
- Radiation therapy
High-energy radiation beams are used in radiation therapy to destroy cancer cells. Internal radiation or an external beam may be used to provide it. Radiation from an external source is directed to the exact spot(s) in the body where the cancer is situated. With internal radiation, a little quantity of radioactive material is inserted into or close to the cancerous area.
- Targeted therapy
Medication used in targeted treatment is specifically formulated to prevent tumor expansion and blood supply. These drugs are targeted more specifically at cancer cells than chemotherapy or radiation. Therefore, normal cells will be protected. Those who aren’t good candidates for a hepatectomy or liver transplant may benefit from targeted therapy.
Liver tumors may have their blood supply cut off using embolization treatments. Your physician will inject tiny particles into the hepatic artery, partially blocking blood flow to the liver. As a result, less blood can reach the tumor. The portal vein, another major blood artery, carries oxygen and nutrients to the liver.
Before injecting the obstructing particles, your doctor will inject chemotherapy medications into the hepatic artery. The chemotherapy chemicals are delivered straight to the tumor. Tumor blood supply is diminished as a result of the obstruction.
Combining radiation treatment with embolization is known as radioembolization. The procedure is inserting radioactive beads into the hepatic artery. Using radiation to target the tumor’s immediate vicinity has the dual effect of reducing blood supply and treating the tumor itself.
Chemotherapy is an effective chemical treatment for eliminating cancer cells. Usually, the medicines are given intravenously or into a vein.
Chemotherapy may usually be given as an outpatient procedure. When other treatments are ineffective or inappropriate for treating liver cancer, chemotherapy may be employed.
The immune system itself is used to combat cancer in immunotherapy. Immunotherapy medications may aid the body in recognizing and eliminating cancer cells. Serious adverse effects are conceivable, as with most cancer treatments.
But Do you want to Know , What Causes Liver Cancer?
Who Treats Liver Cancer?
Following are medical professionals of various specialties who may be involved in your care:
- A GI surgical oncologist: One who specializes in operating on cancer patients.
- A radiation oncologist: A medical expert in radiation treatment for cancer patients.
- A medical oncologist: The medical professional who prescribes and administers cancer drugs such as chemotherapy, targeted treatment, and immunotherapy.
- A gastroenterologist: A specialist who focuses on digestive health, especially the liver.
- An interventional radiologist: A medical professional who performs ablations and embolization.
Side Effects of Treatments
Treatments May Have The Following Adverse Effects:
- Sore throat or mouth
- Diarrhoea and malabsorption
- Loss of weight
- Reduced hunger
- Having the sensation of being full very soon
- Changes in taste
- Confused thinking
- A sensation of intense pain and burning
Many different approaches may be used to treat liver cancer. A person’s doctor or healthcare team is the finest resource for helping them weigh their alternatives and assess their prognosis.
Dr. Aditya Kulkarni
MS, DNB, FRCS, MCh (Surgical Gastroenterology & GI Oncology)
Dr. Aditya Kulkarni is a Consultant of Laparoscopic and Robotic Gastrointestinal, Hepato-biliary-pancreatic, and Cancer Surgeon at the Renowned Oasis Surgery Clinic Pune.
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