Liver cancer treatment

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Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) — or primary liver cancer — is one of the top causes of cancer deaths worldwide, and is expected to remain so as the rates of hepatitis C diagnosis and fatty liver disease rise.

VCU Hume-Lee Transplant Center offers advanced treatment therapies for liver cancer that are customized to provide targeted, effective care for every patient. Our multimodal therapies for treatment is an aggressive approach that may relieve symptoms and prolong the life of cirrhotic patients who are on the transplant waiting list.

“Hepatocellular cancer is a complex and aggressive cancer that requires a multi-disciplinary approach within a highly experienced liver transplant center. At VCU, we have developed a team-based system to treat patients with hepatocellular cancer efficiently and effectively in order to maximize the chance of a successful outcome.”

– Scott Matherly, M.D., VCU Hume-Lee Transplant Center Hepatologist

Expert Care from an Experienced Treatment Center

Liver cancer requires individualized treatment and advanced surgical techniques. Successful treatment is more likely from a center that offers providers with extensive experience with HCC and an understanding that each patient is unique. You will find all of this at Hume-Lee Transplant Center, where each patient benefits from:

  • Our elite, multi-disciplinary team of transplant hepatologists, oncologists, surgeons, interventional and diagnostic radiologists, pharmacists and nurse coordinators who work collaboratively to provide each patient with cutting-edge and tailored medical care.
  • Hume-Lee’s participation in the latest clinical trials and research to offer the most advanced treatments for our patients.
  • Multimodal treatment therapies including chemotherapy, selective internal radiation therapy, radiofrequency tumor ablation, chemoembolization, liver resection and liver transplantation.
  • A streamlined patient intake process that allows physicians to quickly evaluate incoming patients and initiate treatment.
  • Centralized appointments located on the VCU Medical Center campus in Downtown Richmond with easy access to Interstates 95 and 64.
  • Psychosocial support provided as needed by a licensed social worker experienced with assisting patients with advanced liver disease.

Liver Cancer Symptoms

Many people with liver cancer have no symptoms until the disease becomes advanced. The common symptoms of advanced HCC include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Weight loss
  • Decreased energy
  • Fevers of unknown source
  • Shoulder pain
  • Bone pain

These symptoms are not the only way to diagnose HCC and should be evaluated by your doctor.

Diagnosis

Most hepatocellular carcinoma cases are identified by ultrasound or computerized tomography scans. The diagnosis is confirmed by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or liver biopsy. Once the diagnosis is made, additional testing must occur to evaluate the main characteristics of the tumor(s). After the tumor is examined, treatment options will be discussed by the multi-disciplinary HCC team and a treatment plan is formulated specific to each individual.

To schedule an appointment to be evaluated by our Liver Cancer Team, or if you are a physician and would like to refer a patient to VCU Hume-Lee Transplant Center, please call (804) 828-4104.