Treatment of Stage 1 Liver Cancer

The kind of treatment that is given for this stage depends on a number of factors like, in which cells the cancer started, where the cancer is present and the overall health of the person.

Visual representation of a liver cancer cell

Stage 1 liver cancer is also known to the earliest stage and has a varied list of treatments that can be done for the patient. These treatments include:

1. Surgery

There are two types of surgery that can be performed for liver cancer. One is a resection which is a partial removal of the tumor and the other is a liver transplant. The treatment option if surgery is known to be the only reasonable cure for liver cancer.

2. Liver transplant

Liver transplant can be an option for those people who have tumors that cannot be surgically removed. In general it is used to treat patients with small tumors and if the cancer is found at the earliest stages. For a liver transplant, most if the time the liver is taken from someone who has just died but at times a part of liver can be taken from the patient’s close relatives as well.

3. Radiofrequency ablation (RFA)

In the procedure of a radiofrequency ablation, high energy radio waves are used to kill tumors. A CT scan or ultrasound is used to guide a needle like instrument through the skin and into the tumor. An electric current is passed to the tip of the instrument, releasing high frequency radio waves that heat the tumor and kill the cells.

4. Percutaneous ethanol injection (PEI)

In this process ethanol (alcohol) is injected directly into the tumor to kill the cells.

5. Chemotherapy directly to the liver

Chemotherapy is the use of cytotoxic or anticancer drugs to kill cancer cells. The most common ways used to give chemotherapy include the intravenous method where the tube is placed into the vein using a needle or the chemotherapy drugs can be taken orally by the patient. Chemotherapy may be given after surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells.

Chemotherapy may be given directly to the liver and this process is also known as chemoembolization. This procedure is usually done if the person is not healthy for surgery or it may be given to slow down the cancer while the person is waiting for a liver transplant.

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