Liver cancer occurs when abnormal cells grow out of control in the liver. Many times the cancer starts at another part of the body, like the colon or lung, and spreads to the liver. Other times, the cancer starts in the liver.
Treatment for liver cancer depends on what kind of cancer you have and how far it has spread. You may need surgery, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy. Another treatment uses different methods—radio waves, freezing, or injecting chemicals directly into the tumour—to kill cancer cells. You may need more than one of kind of treatment. If your cancer cannot be cured, the goal may be to remove or destroy as much of the tumour as possible. This can prevent cancer from growing, spreading, or returning for as long as possible.
Treatment with chemotherapy or radiation can make you feel very tired and sick to your stomach and may cause diarrhea. It also can make your immune system weaker. This can raise your risk of infection.
Finding out that you have cancer is scary. You may feel many emotions and may need some help coping. Seek out family, friends, and counsellors for support. You also can do things at home to make yourself feel better while you go through treatment. Call the Canadian Cancer Society (1-888-939-3333) or visit its website at www.cancer.ca for more information.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: March 28, 2018
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
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