Treatment of Stage 2 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 liver cancer

At stage 2 liver cancer a single tumor with vascular invasion or multiple tumors not larger than 5 cm is found. This stage has a varied list of treatments that can be done for the patient. These treatments include:

Surgery to remove part of the liver (Liver Resection)

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 of surgery also depends on factors like the size of tumor and where it is present in the liver. The option of surgery might only be possible if part of the liver is healthy.

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. A lived transplant is done only for few people who are at stage 2 liver cancer

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.

Percutaneous ethanol injection (PEI)

In this process ethanol (alcohol) is injected directly into the tumor to kill the cells. This treatment might be given during an ultrasound scanner in cases where the person cannot have surgery.

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. This procedure might also be done to shrink the tumor to a size where it can be surgically removed.

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