Liver cancer starts when cells in the organ start to grow and divide uncontrollably. When cancer begins in the liver cells, it is called primary liver cancer. When cancer cells from other parts of the body lodge in the liver and begin to grow here, it is called secondary liver cancer.
The liver is made up of different cells. Depending upon where cancer begins, it can be of the following types:
Primary liver cancer is rare in the UK compared to countries in Asia and Africa. The early stages of liver cancer do not cause any symptoms. Some symptoms that may appear as the disease progresses are:
Liver cancer diagnosis usually includes a series of blood tests, ultrasound scan of the liver, CT or MRI scan, laparoscopy and liver biopsy. A multidisciplinary team of experts usually plans liver cancer treatment. If two treatments appear to be helpful for your liver cancer, your doctor will ask you to choose one. It is crucial to make informed decisions about your treatment choices.
Standard treatment options for liver cancer are:
Surgery is one of the primary treatments for early-stage and primary liver cancers. During surgery, your doctor will remove the liver’s cancerous portion and some healthy surrounding tissue to prevent a recurrence. In advanced stages, the entire liver may be removed to stop the spread of cancer. Some patients may require a liver transplant after the removal of the liver.
Ablation is the process of using extreme temperature or alcohol to destroy cancer cells. Tumour ablation is a preferred treatment choice when surgery is not an option.
When surgery is not advisable or possible for liver cancer treatment, your doctor may advise transarterial embolisation, during which they block a blood vessel close to the cancer to shrink it. Embolisation may be done using anti-cancer drugs or radiowaves.
This treatment uses potent drugs that target cancer cells. A few drugs that are routinely used for primary liver cancer are sorafenib and lenvatinib. Your doctor will determine the most suitable drugs for you based on the type, grade and stage of your liver cancer.
Chemotherapy is preferred in treating advanced liver cancer cases to relieve symptoms.
Radiotherapy or radiation therapy uses high-energy radiation to kill cancer cells and stop their progression. Selective internal radiation therapy (SIRT) is sometimes used in treating liver cancer. This treatment is preferred in adults whose liver is not too badly damaged or whose cancer cannot be entirely removed by surgery.
Treatment for liver cancer in some individuals is aimed at curing it, while for a few others, it is aimed at relieving symptoms and prolonging life.
Cancer care requires a robust health and support system. We understand the urgency of care needed for cancer treatment. From supporting patients throughout their journey, we at Klarity Oncology are here to support you. From finding the right oncologist, gaining access to priority appointments for second opinions and helping you get treated at the leading hospitals and cancer care centres, Klarity Oncology is here for you!
The cost of liver cancer treatment in the UK may vary as this cancer is not very common in the country. If you have been diagnosed with liver cancer, your treatment costs will depend upon several factors, including where you choose to get treated and your insurance coverage. Your doctor will give you an estimated cost of your liver cancer treatment before beginning. Discuss any treatment or cost-related queries or concerns with your doctor.
Liver cancer affects each person differently. For this reason, liver cancer treatment is personalised for each individual. Your liver cancer treatment cost is calculated by taking into account the following factors:
The cost of liver cancer given to you initially is usually a rough estimate. Treatment costs may vary based on how your treatment progresses and its outcomes.
We understand the complexity of cancer care, the need for urgency and making informed decisions about various aspects of the journey. If you need help with your liver cancer journey, Klarity Oncology is just a call away. Talk to us today!