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Liver Cancer

Cancer Care

Saint Luke’s Liver Disease Management Center provides comprehensive, state-of-the-art services for the treatment of liver cancer. Our team provides the latest diagnostic and to patients with all stages of liver cancer.

Liver cancer is a complex disease. It occurs as a complication of liver disease and cirrhosis. Liver cancers are also more prevalent in men infected with hepatitis B or C, and the risk factors increase for individuals who smoke or consume excessive amounts of alcohol.

Luckily for patients, Saint Luke’s takes a multidisciplinary approach to diagnosing and treating this disease.

Treatment options

  • Chemoembolization - TransArterial ChemoEmbolization (TACE) is a procedure in which the blood supply to a tumor is blocked (embolized) and chemotherapy is administered directly into the tumor.
  • Alcohol ablation - Ablation therapy is less invasive than surgery. Ablation therapy for cancer is used when tumors can't be removed with surgery, when existing conditions increase the risk of surgery, or to relieve pain from bone tumors. The most appropriate form of ablation depends on the location, type, stage, and size of the tumor.
  • Radiofrequency ablation - When administering radiofrequency ablation (RFA), heat is generated locally by a high frequency, alternating current that flows from the electrodes. A probe is inserted laparoscopically into the center of the tumor and the noninsulated electrodes, which are shaped like prongs, are projected into the tumor. The local heat that is generated melts the tissue that is adjacent to the probe. The probe is left in place for about 10 to 15 minutes. The whole procedure is monitored visually by ultrasound scanning.
  • Cryotherapy - Cryotherapy, sometimes referred to as cryosurgery, is a procedure used to destroy tissue of both benign and malignant lesions by the freezing and re-thawing process. Liquid nitrogen is the most commonly used freezing source for cryotherapy.
  • Laparoscopic resection/ablation - Liver resection is the surgical removal of a portion of the liver. This operation is usually done to remove various types of liver tumors that are located in the resected portion of the liver. The goal of liver resection is to completely remove the tumor and the appropriate surrounding liver tissue without leaving any tumor behind.
  • TransArterial RadioEmbolization (TARE) - Radioembolization (also known as SIRT, or selective internal radiotherapy) involves attaching a radioactive molecule to tiny glass beads. These are then injected directly into the blood vessels feeding the cancers. The radiation particles can then kill tumor cells within a distance of 2.5 mm from them, so that any part of the cancer fed by tiny blood vessels will be exposed to the radiation. The effectiveness is probably comparable to chemoembolization.

If you have cirrhosis there are things which may reduce your chances of developing liver cancer:

  • Stop smoking
  • Stop drinking alcohol, including nonalcoholic beer
  • Consider undergoing treatment if you have viral hepatitis

Contact us

For more information, call 816-932-4655.