Liver cancer treatment and diagnosis

Liver cancer

Our teams of cancer specialists are experienced in many different techniques and the latest technologies to treat liver cancer that are proven to be effective. They will work together to ensure that you receive the best possible care from diagnosis through to treatment and survivorship.

Chapter 1

Diagnostics

Liver cancer is often diagnosed with imaging scans, such as MRI and CT, and pathology tests such as blood tests and biopsy, although your doctor may use other tests to identify the problem. You may also have other advanced tests to find out more about your cancer, where it’s located and which treatments are likely to be most effective. Some of these tests are also used to assess how well your treatment is working.

Find your nearest GenesisCare center to find out what diagnostic tests and scans are available in your local area. Whatever your outcome, our expert team will support you throughout your treatment journey.

We offer treatments that can effectively improve your liver cancer prognosis, manage the disease and help minimize any discomfort and pain. These include surgery, ablation, embolization, chemotherapy, targeted therapy and radiation therapy. Determining the most appropriate treatment for your situation depends on the type of liver cancer you have, its stage and location. You and your doctor will work together to decide on the most appropriate treatment plan for you, tailored to your needs.

Chapter 2

Surgery

We work with expert teams of surgeons who are specially trained in surgical removal of tumors in the liver.

When diagnosed early, surgical removal of the tumor can slow growth and control the disease and, in very early cases, potentially cure it. The most common surgical procedure for liver cancer is a hepatectomy, where your surgeon removes the cancerous part of the liver. This will only be performed if your cancer is confined to one area of the liver and your liver function liver is good.

For more serious cases, liver transplantation may be an option, but only if you meet certain criteria. In general, transplantation can be considered as an alternative to hepatectomy if your tumor cannot be removed with surgery because of its location or the liver is too diseased.

Chapter 3

Ablation

Ablation may be an option for treating some liver cancers, your clinician may recommend ablation if you have few small tumors and you’re not fit for surgery. Ablation techniques are usually best for tumors that are no more than 3 cm across, but they may not be suitable if the cancer is close to blood vessels or bile ducts.

With image-guided ablation therapy, your clinician uses an imaging technology such as a CT scan or MRI to guide the ablation technology to the tumor site. Ablation technology includes:

  • Cryotherapy – using extreme cold to freeze and destroy the tumor
  • Radiofrequency – using high-energy radio waves to heat and destroy the tumor
  • Laser or microwave therapy – to heat and destroy the tumor
  • Ethanol ablation – using concentrated alcohol to destroy the tumor
Chapter 4

Embolization

Arterial embolization can be used for patients liver cancer who are not candidates for surgery or ablation. Embolization therapy uses tiny particles to block the flow of blood to tumors through the artery feeding them. This destroys the cancer cells by starving them of oxygen and nutrients. In some cases, the particles may be radioactive (radioembolization) or infused with chemotherapy (chemoembolization), providing the added power of a dual-acting therapy.

Chapter 4

Medical oncology

At GenesisCare, we offer various drug therapies and a wide range of the latest anti-cancer drugs for liver cancer treatment, including chemotherapy and targeted therapy.

Targeted therapy for liver cancer

As researchers know more about liver cancer, they have developed new treatments that can specifically target it. We use targeted therapy to seek and attack cellular activity that the cancer depends on to survive and grow. They are used depending on the specific genetic make up of your cancer. Types of targeted therapy for liver cancer include:

  • RTK inhibitors – block the proteins that are found near or on the surface of liver cancer cells which help the tumor grow
  • Angiogensis inhibitors –work by blocking the protein VEGF which promotes new blood vessel formation and helps tumors grow

Chemotherapy for liver cancer

Chemotherapy refers to drugs that destroy cancer cells. Our expert teams may recommend chemotherapy if your cancer can’t be treated with surgery, or if it hasn’t responded to other treatments such as ablation, emobilization or targeted therapies. The type of chemotherapy you’ll receive will also depend on your how advanced your liver cancer is. If your cancer has spread to other parts of your body, chemotherapy may help control its growth, relieve symptoms and improve your liver cancer prognosis.

Immunotherapy for liver cancer

Immunotherapy helps your body’s own immune system to recognize and fight the cancer and it can be used to treat liver cancer. Checkpoint inhibitors are an effective immunotherapy against some lung cancers and they work by blocking the signals that stop the immune system from attacking the cancerous liver cells.

Chapter 5

Radiation therapy

External beam radiation therapy (ERBT)

External beam radiation therapy (ERBT) delivers high-powered X-rays from outside the body, precisely targeting and shrinking or destroying tumors. Radiation therapy may be recommended after surgery to destroy any remaining cancer cells and to help prevent a recurrence or slow the growth of the disease.

At GenesisCare we offer fast access to the latest technologies and treatments that have been proven to make a difference.

Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT)

IMRT is an advanced external beam radiation therapy technique where the beams of radiation are precisely shaped to exactly match your tumor and damage to adjacent healthy tissues is limited.

Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT)

SBRT uses extremely focused, high-energy radiation beams to destroy tumors in fewer treatment sessions than IMRT, sometimes five or less. It’s often used as an alternative to surgery.

Chapter 6

Why choose GenesisCare?

People choose GenesisCare so they can access the latest technologies, effective treatments and personalized care that’s tailored to them without delay.

Cancer treatment and care is constantly evolving and we offer the world’s latest evidence-based treatments that have been shown to benefit patients. By working together closely, our multidisciplinary teams of oncologists, surgeons, radiation therapists and other healthcare specialists provide care that’s focused on you, not just your cancer.

We know that for many people, cancer is a life-changing experience and our goal is to help you through it in the most positive way possible. That’s why as well as offering exceptional cancer treatments, we also provide you with support and resources for your cancer journey—including advice about nutrition and exercise, expert help for managing side effects and information on local support groups.

Our centers are conveniently located throughout the United States, and each location has a dedicated Office Financial Counselor on hand to help you with your paperwork and answer your questions. We accept most insurance plans as well as Medicare Part B, which covers physician services, including radiation therapy.