To ensure you receive the best care, your specialist will arrange for a team of health professionals to plan your treatment based on your preferences and needs.
The team will be made up of health professionals who have experience managing and supporting a person with liver cancer. Your specialist will tell you when the team will be discussing your case.
Your team should discuss the different treatment options with you including the likely outcomes, expected timeframes, possible side effects, and the risks and benefits. Your doctor may also suggest you consider taking part in a clinical trial. You might want to ask for more time before deciding on your treatment.
Let your team know about any complementary therapies you are using or thinking about trying. Some therapies may not be appropriate, depending on your medical treatment.
There are a number of ways to treat liver cancer. In some cases, more than one type of treatment could be used to get the best outcome.
Treatment options for early liver cancer:
Local ablative therapies
Are the most common treatment for liver cancer. Radio waves are used to heat and destroy a tumour without removing it from your body.
Surgery: Liver surgery
Surgery may benefit people with early liver cancer. It is important that this surgery is performed by a surgeon who is very experienced in performing liver surgery and performs several operations every year.
Use heat and/or chemotherapy or radiation therapy injected directly into the liver to slow down the speed at which the tumour grows.
Surgery: Liver transplant
This surgery replaces your whole liver with a donor liver and may benefit those with cirrhosis whereby the liver has stopped functioning properly.
Treatment options for advanced liver cancer (if the cancer has spread to other organs):
Treatment for advanced liver cancer may include chemotherapy, surveillance and managing your underlying liver disease, or a combination of surveillance and surgery.
For more information about treatment and treatment side effects ask your doctor or visit www.cancer.org.au/about-cancer/treatment
Your doctor should discuss your needs with you during and after treatment (including physical, psychological, social and information needs) and may refer you to another service or health professional for different aspects of your care.