The primary liver cancer treatment depends on your personal preferences, overall health, age and feelings.
Elimination of the liver cancer treatment completely should be the goal of any treatment.
As the palliative care makes you feel comfortable and relieves the pain, it is appropriate to treat the cancer.
Primary liver cancer treatment in adults:
Surgery is the best way to treat the cancer. The area on the liver where the cancer is found is removed completely. The cancer can recur elsewhere in the liver tissue even after the surgery with in few days.
Alcohol injection is given to you either through the skin or directly into the tumor during the operation. The cells die as the alcohol dries out all the cells of the tumor. Only one injection is given at the treatment.
For better result a series of injections has to be given. The side effect with alcohol injection is leaking of the alcohol onto the abdominal cavity or the liver.
Radiofrequency ablation is used to destroy the malignant cells with electric current in the radio frequency range. Several thin needles are inserted to make small incisions into the abdomen by using the ultra scan or CT scan as guide.
The tumors are destroyed by the needles that are heated by the current passed into them. This method is having some higher risk complication than that of alcohol injections.
Chemoembolizationis a type of chemotherapy treatment. It supplies the anti-cancer drugs directly into liver cells making them to die.
The hepatic artery by which the liver cancer cells receive the blood are blocked to inject the chemotheraptic drugs. By this method the tumor can be targeted without any major side effects. But there are few side effects like vomiting, abdominal pain and nausea.
Cryoablation destroys the cancer cells by extreme cold. In addition to the surgery, this method is used. In this method, the instrument containing the liquid nitrogen is placed directly on the liver cells.
Ultra sound guide is used for this purpose. The side effects are infection or bleeding, damage to the major blood vessels and bile ducts.
Radiotherapy is used to destroy the shrunk tumors and cancer cells with the help of high-powered energy beams. Localized unresectable cancer can be treated with radiation.
The remaining malignant tumor can be removed by using the radiation therapy. The side effects are vomiting, fatigue and nausea.
Chemotherapy involves the powerful drugs to kill the cancer cells. It involves systematic traveling through out the body in the blood stream. It is not effective in treating the cancer but it can be a treatment option for some cases.
Liver transplantation involves the removal of the diseased liver and replacing the healthy liver. If you are having bile-duct tumor or small early-stage liver tumors liver transplantation can be an option.
But when the blood vessels are involved or in case of large tumor, the liver transplantation may not improve because the cancer may develop outside the new liver.
Hence, liver transplantation, surgery, chemoembolization methods can be used for liver cancer treatment.