Liver Tumors & Cancer

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Treatment Options

Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) liver cancer patients are treated through our Liver Tumor Clinic located in the Surgery Pavilion at University of Washington Medical Center (UWMC). This clinic includes a multidisciplinary team of specialists who will collaborate to design and deliver treatment that’s tailored to your disease.

Most treatment for liver tumors, including surgery, liver transplantation, and interventional radiology procedures, are performed at UWMC. Systemic treatment (chemotherapy) is given at the main SCCA clinic on south Lake Union. Follow-up treatment for patients with advanced disease is often provided at the main SCCA clinic as well.

Your treatment will depend on the type of liver cancer you have, its location, and its stage. Your team may use one or more of the approaches listed below. Listen to a podcast in which members of the Liver Tumor Clinic team talk about advanced techniques for treating liver tumors on the Patient Power website.


Newly Diagnosed

If you have recently been diagnosed with primary liver cancer, you’re probably wondering what to do next. Your most important decision is selecting where to get treatment. Our liver cancer program is the largest in the region.

Surgery

Surgeons can sometimes remove the part of the liver that contains cancer. After surgery, the remaining normal liver tissue takes over the function of the liver, and the liver regenerates itself.

Radiofrequency Ablation

Radiofrequency ablation uses a probe to create heat around small tumors, destroying the cancer cells.

Irreversible Electroporation

Irreversible electroporation uses micropulses of electricity to make the membrane around a cancer cell open, leading to the cell’s death.

Chemoembolization

Chemoembolization is a method of delivering an anticancer drug directly to the liver through the hepatic artery and then cutting off the blood supply to the tumor, depriving it of the oxygen it needs to survive.

Radioembolization

Radioembolization is a method of delivering radiation directly to the liver. Like chemoembolization, this treatment also delivers therapy through the artery supplying blood to the liver.

Transplantation

Transplantation is an option—and possible cure—for some people whose cancer is limited to their liver. University of Washington Medical Center has a special Liver Transplant Clinic.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy may temporarily halt or slow the progression of advanced hepatocellular carcinoma.

Radiation Therapy

People with liver cancer may have radiation therapy to help shrink tumors in their liver and control their symptoms.

Nutrition

Nutrition is key to treating liver cancer, but eating can be difficult for people who have the disease. Your SCCA nutrition team will guide you toward the foods your body needs to stay as healthy as possible.