Skip to content

    Cancer Health Center

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Understanding Liver Cancer -- Diagnosis and Treatment

    What Are the Treatments for Liver Cancer? continued...

    Cryotherapy, or freezing the tumor, and radiofrequency ablation (RFA), using radio waves to destroy the tumor, may be used to treat some cases of liver cancer. Radiation therapy can be given in various ways, but has its limitations due to the liver's low tolerance to radiation. When used, the role of radiation is to alleviate symptoms outside of the liver or to relieve pain within the liver by shrinking the tumor. Radioembolization therapy uses substances to cut off the blood supply to the tumor.

    A liver transplant may be an option for those with both liver cancer and cirrhosis. Although this procedure is risky, it offers some chance of long-term survival.

    Advanced liver cancer has no standard curative treatment. Chemotherapy and low-dose radiation may control the cancer's spread and ease pain, however these are of modest benefit in this type of cancer. Most patients receive painkilling medication along with drugs to relieve nausea, improve appetite, and reduce abdominal or lower body swelling. The drug sorafenib (Nexavar) is the first drug to significantly improve the overall survival with advanced liver cancer and is considered the drug of choice for such patients.

    People with advanced liver cancer may choose to join clinical trials testing new approaches to treatment.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Sujana Movva, MD on March 15, 2015
    1 | 2

    Today on WebMD

    Colorectal cancer cells
    New! I AM Not Cancer Facebook Group
    Lung cancer xray
    See it in pictures, plus read the facts.
     
    sauteed cherry tomatoes
    Fight cancer one plate at a time.
    Ovarian cancer illustration
    Real Cancer Perspectives
     
    Jennifer Goodman Linn self-portrait
    Blog
    what is your cancer risk
    HEALTH CHECK
     
    colorectal cancer treatment advances
    Video
    breast cancer overview slideshow
    SLIDESHOW
     
    prostate cancer overview
    SLIDESHOW
    lung cancer overview slideshow
    SLIDESHOW
     
    ovarian cancer overview slideshow
    SLIDESHOW
    Actor Michael Douglas
    Article