CHC – The Cancer & Hematology Centers

Liver Cancer Treatment in Michigan

Liver cancer is a life-changing diagnosis. However, doctors and scientists are developing new liver cancer treatment options every day. Discover more about treatments for liver cancer in Michigan, the common types of liver cancer, and what you should expect and know about this disease.

Types of Liver Cancer

Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC)

This is the most common type of primary liver cancer in adults, representing the majority of cases. It’s also particularly dangerous, since most people don’t detect it until the later stages.

Bile Duct Cancer

As the name suggests, this is a cancer that forms in the bile ducts connecting your liver, stomach, and pancreas. While this type of primary liver cancer is less common than HCC, it still represents up to 20% of all cases.

Angiosarcoma and Hemangiosarcoma

These rare types of liver cancer occur in the blood vessels and cells of your liver. They represent 1% of all primary liver cancer cases.

Liver Cancer Treatment Options

Surgery for Liver Cancer

If your tumor is still small and your liver function is otherwise good, your cancer care team may recommend surgery to remove the tumor, along with a small amount of healthy tissue surrounding it. While some people receive a liver transplant instead, this is typically reserved for people whose cancer is still in the early stages.

Chemotherapy for Liver Cancer

Chemotherapy uses specialized drugs to kill fast-growing cells in your body, including the cancer cells in your liver. Your oncologist may administer chemotherapy drugs through an IV in your arm, or as an oral medication you take on a schedule.

The goal of using chemotherapy is to stop advanced liver cancer from spreading to other parts of the body. However, it does come with some side effects, mostly in parts of the body with fast-growing cells. The most common side effects include fatigue, hair loss, mouth sores, and a temporary weakening of your immune system.

Immunotherapy for Liver Cancer

One of the challenges of fighting liver cancer is that your body’s immune system does not know how to recognize and destroy cancer cells on its own. Immunotherapy helps people with advanced liver cancer by allowing or blocking certain proteins in your body from attaching to your immune system’s T cells. This helps them learn when to trigger an immune response to kill the cancer cells.

Radiation Therapy for Liver Cancer 

Radiation therapy uses beams of atomic energy to destroy cancer cells in your liver. It’s an option for treatment if other methods aren’t available, or if you have advanced cancer.

Your doctor will use a powerful machine to precisely target the cancerous spot in your liver, keeping the radiation away from your healthy tissue. This can help stop the tumor from growing or even shrink it in some cases.

Targeted Therapy for Liver Cancer

Liver cancer targeted therapy uses specialized medication that blocks proteins in cancer cells from growing and surviving, or blocks the tumor’s blood vessels from growing. This concept is similar to chemotherapy. However, instead of targeting any fast-growing cells in your body to kill the cancer, it only targets the liver cancer cells themselves.

There are many different targeted drugs that treat advanced liver cancer. However, some work best on people whose cancer cells have certain genetic markers. Your oncologist will help you determine which type of targeted therapy will be best for your type of cancer.

Clinical Trials for Liver Cancer

Since primary liver cancer can be a life-threatening disease, doctors and scientists are constantly searching for new ways to treat and find a cure for liver cancer. Clinical trials are an important part of that research.

Patients who join liver cancer clinical trials have the opportunity to receive forms of cancer treatment that might not be available to the public yet. These cutting-edge methods may also be more effective than existing treatments, especially for cancer that has spread to other parts of the body.

The Best Liver Cancer Treatment Center in Michigan

No two experiences with liver cancer are exactly alike. That’s why our experts at The Cancer & Hematology Centers treat each diagnosis like the individual case that it is. We provide multiple treatment options for liver cancer, along with clinical trials and cutting-edge procedures to set you on the path to recovery.

Discover More About Liver Cancer Treatment

Our team of oncologists knows all the best treatments for liver cancer and is here to help you through every step of your journey. To learn more about what the treatment options are for kidney cancer, call 800-411-7999 today.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What Causes Liver Cancer?

Several things can contribute to your likelihood of developing liver cancer. Some of the most common risk factors and causes include:

  • A history of hepatitis B or C infections
  • Cirrhosis
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Aflatoxin B1 (a fungus that grows on certain foods)
  • Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH)
  • Tobacco use
  • Certain genetic conditions

However, it’s important to remember that not everyone with these risk factors will develop the disease, and the disease can sometimes develop in people who don’t have any of these risk factors.

What Are the Signs of Liver Cancer?

Liver cancer often doesn’t have any symptoms in its earliest stages. However, later symptoms of the disease include:

  • A lump or pain below your rib cage on the right side of your abdomen
  • Jaundice, or yellowing of the skin and eyes
  • Unexplained weight loss, nausea, or loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Dark-colored urine