Liver cancer

You’re more likely to develop liver cancer if you’re male and aged over 65.

 

What is liver cancer?

Liver cancer that begins in the liver is uncommon. It is more likely to be secondary liver cancer from another primary cancer – usually breast and bowel. Most liver cancers are known as ‘hepatocellular carcinomas’.

Most cases of liver cancer are linked to damage and scarring. This is called ‘cirrhosis’. Diet and lifestyle factors such as being overweight or having a poor diet can increase your risk. And you’re more likely to develop liver cancer if you:

  • Are infected with Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C
  • Have inherited haemochromatosis
  • Have primary biliary cirrhosis
  • Regularly drink a lot of alcohol
  • Regularly smoke
  • Have medical conditions such as diabetes and lupus erythematosus

Symptoms of liver cancer

It can be difficult to diagnose liver cancer early. Many people don’t have any symptoms until their disease is advanced. Signs can include:

Feeling and/or being sick

Feeling full quickly even if you haven’t eaten much

Feeling weak and exhausted

Itchy skin

Jaundice

Losing your appetite

Swelling and pain in the abdomen

Unplanned weight loss

Having one or more of these symptoms doesn’t mean you have cancer but it’s best to ask your doctor for advice. The sooner your cancer is detected, the better the chances of treating it successfully.

Tests and diagnosis

Your doctor will discuss your symptoms and medical history. You may also have:

  • Blood tests
  • Laparoscopy – keyhole surgery to remove tissue samples from the liver for analysis
  • Needle biopsy – when a tiny sample of tissue is removed via a fine needle and sent for analysis
  • Scans including ultrasound, CT and MRI

Treatment we offer

Treatment of liver cancer may include surgery (excision or ablation), chemotherapy, targeted therapies and radiotherapy.

Radiotherapy kills cancer cells. It’s used in the early stages of cancer treatment or after it has started to spread. It can also be used to relieve pain and discomfort from cancer that has spread.

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Chemotherapy is medication that treats your cancer. The drugs kill cancer cells, preventing them from dividing and spreading further.

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Radiotherapy kills cancer cells. It’s used in the early stages of cancer treatment or after it has started to spread. It can also be used to relieve pain and discomfort from cancer that has spread.

Read more

Chemotherapy is medication that treats your cancer. The drugs kill cancer cells, preventing them from dividing and spreading further.

Read more

Meet our doctors

Our-doctors

Everything we do is focused on designing better care for our patients. With a network of 12 specialist oncology treatment centres across the UK, we provide the most up-to-date treatments and technology as standard.

We attract and retain some of the most experienced doctors in the country, who all have a passion for improving patient outcomes and specialise in the treatment of different types of cancer.

Meet our doctors

Search for a centre near you

Birmingham

Little Aston Hall Drive, Sutton Coldfield, B74 3BF

+44 (0)121 353 3055

Bristol

300 Park Avenue, Aztec West, Bristol, BS32 4SY

01454 456500

Cambridge

The Oaks, Fordham Road, Newmarket, CB8 7XN

+44 (0)1223 907 600

Chelmsford

Springfield Cancer Centre, Lawn Lane, Chelmsford, CM1 7GU

+44 (0)1245 987 901

Cromwell Hospital

164-178 Cromwell Rd, Kensington, London SW5 0TU, UK

020 7460 5626

Elstree

Unit 710, Centennial Park, Centennial Avenue, Elstree, Borehamwood, WD6 3SZ

+44 (0)208 236 9040

Guildford

BMI St Martha Oncology Centre, 46 Harvey Road, Guildford, GU1 3LX

+44 (0)1483 806 000

Maidstone

17 Kings Hill Avenue, Kings Hill, West Malling, ME19 4UA

+44 (0)1732 207 000

Milton Keynes

Sunrise Parkway, Linford Wood East, Milton Keynes, MK14 6LS

+44 (0)1908 467 700

Nottingham

The Park Centre for oncology, Sherwood Lodge Drive, Burntstump Country Park, Nottingham, NG5 8RX

+44 (0)115 966 2250

Oxford

Sandy Lane West, Peters Way, Oxford, OX4 6LB

+44 (0)1865 237 700

Portsmouth

Bartons Road, Havant, PO9 5NA

+44 (0)23 9248 4992

Southampton

Spire Hospital, Chalybeate Close, Southampton, SO16 6UY

+44 (0)238 076 4961

Windsor

69 Alma Road, Windsor, SL4 3HD

+44 (0)1753 418 444