What is a liver ?
Around 1,900 people are diagnosed with primary liver cancer each year in Australia, affecting almost three times as many men as women. HCC is most common in people with underlying liver disease as a result of obesity, consuming too much alcohol or those infected with hepatitis B or C.
Primary Liver Cancer Symptoms
- Jaundice (yellow discolouration of the skin and eyes)
- Dark urine colour
- Pale stool colour
- Abdominal pain and/or swelling
- Chronic fatigue
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Hepatitis B or C infection
- Family history of liver disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- Fatty liver disease
- Excessive alcohol consumption
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and are concerned, you should make an appointment with your doctor.
Primary Liver Cancer Diagnosis
- Liver function tests (LFTs)
- Blood clotting tests
- Hepatitis tests
- CT Scan
- MRI Scan
- Biopsy & biopsy testing
Primary Liver Cancer Treatment
Once diagnosed, your doctor will discuss the best treatment options for your cancer. Treatment options will depend on whether the patient has a background of liver disease, the presence or degree of cirrhosis and whether the cancer has spread, while considering your age, fitness and general overall health.
There are several different treatment options for primary liver cancer. These can include:
- Ablation – such as microwave, RFA or IRE. Irreversible electroporation (IRE) is a technique using the NanoKnife system to kill cancer cells at difficult to reach locations while preserving surrounding normal tissues.
- Liver resection (removing part of, or sometimes the whole of the left or right lobe of the liver depending on the location of the cancer).
- TACE – this involves manipulating a catheter into the hepatic artery that supplies blood to the liver, injecting chemotherapy drugs directly into the liver and is performed in the x-ray department of hospitals that provide this service.
- Sorafenib – a kinase inhibitor drug.