Liver cancer: treatments

There are different types of treatments for liver cancer. The first is preventive, limiting the risk of developing liver cancer.

Preventive treatment

It is necessary to guard against cirrhosis very early (thus, to limit the consumption of alcohol) to prevent the occurrence of cancer of the liver.

It should also be protected from viral hepatitis:

  • vaccination against hepatitis B,
  • use of condoms, sterile and disposable equipment, in case of piercing or tattooing).

It is also necessary to perform blood tests to be taken care of quickly and avoid complications.


For primary liver cancers (those that occur as a result of hepatitis or cirrhosis), the three treatments that can cure are as follows:

  • Rehabilitation or partial removal : the part of the liver where the tumor is located is surgically removed,
  • Radiofrequency, this treatment consists of planting a thin needle in the liver to burn the tumor directly (under general anesthesia),
  • Transplantation : If the entire liver is affected, it is removed entirely to graft another. This type of care is very rare, especially given the long waiting times to obtain a transplant.

For metastatic cancers, the primary tumor (breast, colon or stomach ...) is removed surgically, when possible. It depends on the state of health of the patient, the volume of the tumor, and the stage at which the disease has been discovered.

When surgery is no longer feasible, chemotherapy or other targeted treatments take over. Medications (taken intravenously or orally) will try to kill the cancer cells.

Among these targeted treatments, there is treatment with cold (cryotherapy), radio frequency, ethanol injection, or by radioembolization (local radiotherapy) with injection of radioactive microspheres into the bloodstream of the liver which aims to destroy the cancer cells. These treatments are developing to improve their results, they are often associated with chemotherapy.

NB: The more we discover late liver cancer, the more the treatment will be directed to the palliative, whose objective is to improve life, without altering the quality of life. In other words, live longer, but not worse.

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Read also :

> Chemotherapy: limiting side effects
> Radioembolization to treat certain liver cancers
> Piercing and tattooing safely

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