If you have symptoms of liver cancer, the first step is a physical exam. The doctor will:
Blood tests: One common blood test detects alphafetoprotein (AFP), which can be a sign of liver cancer. Other blood tests may measure how well the liver is working.
Imaging tests, which may include:
Biopsy:A sample of tissue from the tumor or the healthy part of the liver is removed and looked at under a microscope. Healthy tissue may be tested to see how well the liver is working. A biopsy may be obtained by:
In cancer care, different types of doctors often work together to create a patient’s overall treatment plan that combines different types of treatments. This is called a multidisciplinary team. Cancer care teams also include a variety of other health care professionals, including physician assistants, oncology nurses, social workers, pharmacists, counselors, dietitians, and others.
Treatment options and recommendations depend on several factors:
When a tumor is found at an early stage and the patient’s liver is working well, treatment is aimed at trying to eliminate the cancer. The care plan may also include treatment for symptoms and side effects, an important part of cancer care. When liver cancer is found at a later stage, or the patient’s liver is not working well, the patient and doctor should talk about the goals of each treatment recommendation. At this point, the goals of treatment may focus on slowing growth of the cancer and relieving symptoms to improve quality of life.
The various diseasedirected treatment options can be grouped according to whether they may cure the cancer or will improve survival but will most likely not eliminate the cancer. Descriptions of the most common treatment options, both diseasedirected and those aimed at managing side effects and symptoms, are listed below. Take time to learn about your treatment options and be sure to ask questions about things that are unclear. Also, talk about the goals of each treatment with your doctor and what you can expect while receiving the treatment. Learn more about making treatment decisions.
The main treatments for stomach cancer are:
Often the best approach uses 2 or more of these treatment methods.