Liver Cancer and Liver Disease
Located underneath the rib cage on your right side, your liver is one of the largest organs in your body. Among other important functions, it works to cleanse your system of toxins and aid in digestion.
A liver lesion is any abnormal area of the liver and such lesions are often found in the liver. They may be benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancer). Liver lesions that we evaluate and treat include:
Colon or rectal cancer that has spread to the liver
Neuroendocrine or carcinoid tumors that have spread to the liver
Bile duct cancer
Symptomatic benign lesions such as liver cysts, blood vessel deformities, and adenomas (benign growths that can rupture or bleed)
At the Saint Agnes Cancer Institute we take a multidisciplinary team approach to help you understand your diagnosis and treatment options. Our expert team includes:
Medical and Radiation Oncologists
General and Interventional Gastroenterologists
Diagnostic and Interventional Radiologists
What are the risk factors for liver cancer?
Gender. Men are more likely than women to develop liver cancer.
Heredity. Those with a family history of liver cancer may have an increased risk.
Heavy alcohol use
Liver diseases such as cirrhosis or Hepatitis B and C.
What are the warning signs of liver cancer?
The most common indicators include weight loss, nausea and pain, swelling or tenderness in the liver. Consult your doctor immediately if any of these symptoms occur.
How is liver cancer detected?
Liver cancer is detected using blood tests or imaging exams like a CT scan, MRI scan or ultrasound. For more information on cancer screening, see our diagnostic methods section.
How are liver cancers treated?
Saint Agnes offers a full range multi-disciplinary treatment methods and procedures:
Surgery is the most common method of treatment. Your surgeon may recommend removal the tumor-bearing liver or evaluation for liver transplant may be necessary. Many liver operations can be done in a minimally invasive fashion, including laparoscopy.
- Chemotherapy is often used for colon cancer that has spread to the liver, but less commonly for other types of liver cancer.
- Radiation treatment is sometimes used to shrink the tumor before it can be removed with surgery.
- Ablation is used to destroy (with high temperature or other means) liver tumors instead of removing them. This is sometimes done alone and sometimes together with surgery for multiple tumors.
- Transarterial therapies often play an important role in the treatment of liver tumors and may be used alone or with surgery or ablation.
- Portal vein embolization is sometimes used as a bridge to surgery.
Talk to your doctor about all of your treatment options. Together, you can determine the best plan for you. For more information on treatment, see our treatment methods section.
Need More Information?
Meet Our Liver Oncology Surgeons
For more information on treatment options or any information regarding Cancer Institute at Saint Agnes Hospital please contact us at 1-866-690-9355.
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