Early detection and diagnosis of liver cancer is the key to successful treatment. The treatment outcome is much better if it is diagnosed before it has spread to other parts of the body. The following factors determine the treatment process:
- Number of tumors (Single/ Multiple)
- Size of the tumor (Small/ big)
- Extent of liver damage as a result of liver cancer
- Age and general health condition of the patient
- Severity of the disease (Spread to other parts of the body)
- Concerns regarding side effects of treatment
(1) Liver cancer can be effectively treated only if diagnosed at an early stage. Surgery remains the viable treatment option if the tumor is small enough to be treated and is located in such a place that it can be removed easily. A specific part of the liver that is affected by the tumor is removed by a process called liver resection. In some cases, removal of an entire lobe of the liver may be necessary. The liver has an excellent regenerative capacity and the removed segment would be substituted by a new tissue within few weeks or months.
(2) Liver transplantation (removal of the diseased liver and replacement with a liver segment from a donor) is yet another option. However, it can be done only when the tumor is sufficiently small.