Liver Cancer (Hepatocellular Carcinoma) Diagnosis and Treatment
Mercy offers a team of physicians, recognized as pioneers in diagnosing and treating liver disease. Our gastroenterologists and surgical oncologists are dedicated to finding the best treatment options for patients with liver cancer, or hepatocellular carcinoma. Our physicians participate in liver cancer research trials to help discover effective new therapies.
Hepatocellular carcinoma, or liver cancer, is a malignant tumor that begins in the liver. Liver cancer most often occurs in livers that have been damaged by birth defects, alcohol abuse, or chronic infections such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C, hemochromatosis and cirrhosis. Sometimes cancers from other organs spread to the liver. This kind of cancer is not hepatocellular cancer but rather metastatic cancer and is treated according to the location in which the cancer originated.
Liver cancer symptoms do not appear in the early stages of cancer. Often liver cancer symptoms are similar to symptoms of other liver diseases and can include:
- Weight loss
- Abdominal pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Enlarged abdomen
Rarely diagnosed early, tests for liver cancer include:
Since patients with hepatitis B, hepatitis C or cirrhosis are at high risk for liver cancer, they should be monitored regularly to watch for any liver tumor development.
A multidisciplinary approach to liver cancer is important for the best possible outcome as the team of doctors will decide on the best treatment approach. Liver cancer sometimes can be removed with surgery, microwave ablation, or transarterial chemoembolization (TACE). In some cases of liver cancer, a liver transplant may be a treatment option.