Liver Cancer

The best chance for a cure for liver tumors is to have the tumors surgically removed in most cases. Our interventional radiology experts will help improve the situation after analyzing the case deeply.

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MINIMAL ACCESS TO TREATMENTS FOR LIVER CANCER

Interventional Radiology Helps Improve Quality Of Life

The best chance for a cure for liver tumors is to have the tumors surgically removed. On the downside, liver tumors are often inoperable because they may be too large or have grown into major blood vessels or other vital organs. Also because many tiny tumors are growing throughout the liver, surgery can be too impractical or risky. For more than two-thirds of patients that have primary liver cancer and 90 percent of patients having secondary liver cancer, surgical removal is not an option.

Chemotherapy drugs have, historically, been ineffective at curing liver cancer.

Prevalence

Primary Liver Cancer:

  • Each year, about 18,500 cases of primary liver cancer are diagnosed. Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) is the most common form. HCC is a tumor that starts in the hepatocytes (main cells of the liver. Primary liver cancer is doubly more prevalent in men than women.

  • Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) occurs most frequently in people who have cirrhosis, a form of liver disease. When the liver becomes diseased and develops scarring, cirrhosis occurs, usually over a period of several years. The liver attempts to regenerate or repair itself. The repetitive process can lead to tumors forming. The most common reasons for developing cirrhosis are chronic infection from the liver virus hepatitis B or C and from alcohol abuse.

  • Due to the increase of hepatitis C, worldwide, the incidence of primary hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is on the rise.

Metastatic Liver Cancer

  • Cancer can spread from any area of the body to the liver. The cancer cells may grow for months or years before they are found there. Tumors of the colon and rectum are one of the most common sources of metastatic liver cancer. Each year, about 140, 000 people are diagnosed with colon cancer, and roughly half of these patients will develop liver tumors.

  • About one in 10 patients will have the tumors removed surgically and will be cured. People with other types of cancer are also having a risk of developing liver cancer. Serving as a way-station for cancer cells, the liver circulates through the bloodstream. The cells could grow and form tumors in the liver. Nearly 70 percent of patients with uncontrolled cancer will eventually develop secondary liver tumors, or metastases (tumors that are formed by primary cancer cells that have spread from other sites containing cancer).

Liver Cancer Diagnosis

Blood tests, physical examination, and a variety of imaging techniques including chest X-rays and mammograms; computed tomography (CT); magnetic resonance (MR), and ultrasound are some of the tests that can help in the diagnosis of cancer. However, until a biopsy is taken, a final diagnosis of cancer cannot be made. A pathologist takes a sample of tissue from the tumor or abnormality.

 

From the examination of the biopsy sample, pathologists and other experts can determine what type of cancer is present and whether it is a fast or slow-growing cancer. By utilizing this information, the best type of treatment can be determined. Sometimes, open surgery is performed to take a tissue sample for biopsy. However, in most cases, tissue samples are obtained by interventional radiology techniques instead of by open surgery.

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Needle Biopsy

The image-guided biopsy also called a needle biopsy, is usually conducted using a dynamic X-ray technique (fluoroscopy), computed tomography (CT), ultrasound, or magnetic resonance imager (MRI) to maneuver during the procedure. Often, needle biopsies are performed with the assistance of equipment that renders a computer-visualized image and permits physicians and other medical professionals to see inside a certain part of the body from various perspectives. The “stereotactic” equipment that they use helps them to identify the precise concentration of the anomalous tissue. Needle biopsy is often an outpatient procedure and does not typically involve complications; less than 1 percent of patients develop bleeding or infection. In nearly 90 percent of patients, needle biopsy provides a sufficient tissue sample for the pathologist to do the necessary analysis and diagnose the likely cause of the abnormality.

 

Benefits of needle biopsy include:

  • Since doctors are able to guide instruments, the abnormal tissue can be sampled while sensitive close structures such as blood vessels and vital organs can be seen and avoided.

  • Because there is no open surgery, the biopsy rarely leaves any scarring or complications and also is much less painful for the patient.

  • Patients may more rapidly resume their typical activities and it requires a much shorter time for recovery.

Large Core Needle Biopsy

In this procedure, a special needle is used that enables the radiologist to obtain a larger biopsy sample. This technique is often utilized to select tissue samples from lumps or other abnormal tissue in the breast that are suspected by physical examination or on mammograms or other imaging scans. Because approximately 80 percent of all breast abnormalities result in them not being cancer, this technique is often preferred by women and their physicians because it:

  • is less painful and requires less recuperation time than open surgical biopsy, and

  • avoids the scarring and any disfiguring marks that may come about because of open Surgery.

A comparable procedure called fine-needle aspiration might be utilized to withdraw cells from a suspected malignancy. It additionally can diagnose fluids that have gathered in the body. In some cases, these liquid accumulations likewise may be emptied through a catheter, for example, when pockets of disease are diagnosed. Numerous interventional radiology techniques for the analysis and treatment of growths might be performed on an outpatient premise or amid a short clinic visit. Much of the time, these procedures:

  • offer innovative cancer treatment options

  • are less painful and debilitating for patients

  • result in faster recuperation

  • experience fewer side effects and complications.

Prevalence