Detection and Treatment

Detecting and Treating Liver Tumors

The detection of a liver tumor can sometimes be difficult without the assistance of a qualified Palmer cancer center. This is because cancerous tumors might not present any symptoms in the early stages. Once the cancer advances far enough, individuals may start to experience pain in the upper right abdomen where the liver is located. Sudden weight loss, loss of appetite, and yellowing eyes and skin – an indication of jaundice – could also be symptomatic of liver cancer. Your physician will want to perform a few tests to find out if that is what you are dealing with.

Common Tests for Detection

Your doctor will likely order a combination of tests in order to ensure an accurate diagnosis. The most common detection methods include

  • Imaging Tests – Usually a CT or CAT scan is the most accurate and reliable way to determine the spread of any liver cancer cells. Angiograms or ultrasounds may also be used.
  • Biopsy – Your doctor will remove a tissue sample and test it for functionality. Biopsies may be done with a thin needle, core sample needles, or surgically.
  • Blood Tests – Your doctor will likely test the blood for AFP, or alpha-fetoprotein, which is a common indicator of liver cancer.

Common Treatment Options

Every cancer case is unique, so if you receive a diagnosis of liver cancer, your oncologist will likely work with you to come with a treatment plan tailored to your needs and the stage of your cancer. Every treatment option has its advantages and drawbacks, so you will want to thoroughly explore all of your options and even get a second opinion. Don’t be afraid to ask your physician questions about anything – after all, we are here to help you win this battle. Some treatment options you are likely to hear include

  • Targeted therapy
  • Disease-directed treatments
  • Surgery
  • Immunotherapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation

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Outlook for Treatment

Liver tumors are often tricky to diagnose because they may not present any symptoms at first. Liver cancer often doesn’t show symptoms until the disease has reached advanced stages. The outlook for treatment and recovery after a liver cancer diagnosis depends largely on the type of tumor and how far the cancer has spread, but early diagnosis often provides a better outlook. For more information regarding Palmer liver tumor treatment, contact Mat-Su Valley Comprehensive Cancer Center at 907-707-1333.