3 Alternatives to Surgery For Treating Liver Cancer

Your liver helps metabolize medications into safe forms for your body and remove toxins from your blood. Because your liver is a vital organ for the function of your body and it has different types of cells, it may be attacked by cancerous or noncancerous growths. You may need Lenox Hill liver surgery if the cancer is only in a section of your liver and has not spread to other organs. Before undergoing liver surgery, your doctor has to ensure that the remaining portion of the liver works optimally to keep you healthy.

Your doctor has two surgical procedures that can help cure your primary liver cancer. The surgical treatments are liver resection or lobectomy and a liver transplant. Liver resection involves removing affected tissues of your liver and leaving healthy sections. On the other hand, a liver transplant is characterized by completely removing your liver and replacing it with a healthy one from a donor.

Your health provider may recommend other nonsurgical treatments if you have chronic liver damage causing scarring and liver failure. If surgery is unsuitable for you, your health specialist may recommend the following treatments.

  • Liver ablation

Ablation is a treatment procedure that destroys tumors in or on your liver using high-energy radio waves, heat from electromagnetic waves, or freezing temperatures.

You can be a good candidate for the treatment if your liver has a few tiny growths and surgery is unsuitable, especially due to poor health. Liver ablation may also come in handy to reduce the effects of liver tumors while you wait for a transplant.

However, compared to surgery, liver ablation is less effective in curing cancer. Moreover, ablation can harm healthy tissue around the treatment area and thus may not be excellent for treating tumors adjacent to the diaphragm, major bile ducts, and blood vessels.

  • Embolization therapy

This non-surgical procedure for treating liver cancer involves injecting a substance into the liver’s artery, which blocks or reduces blood flow to the area with a tumor. Since the blood supply is cut off, the cancerous growth does not get a sufficient supply of nutrients; thus, it dies and gets absorbed by the body.

Embolization is suitable if the tumors in or on your liver are too large to be eliminated via ablation. But since the treatment may damage healthy tissues in your liver, it may not be excellent if you have liver disease. The damage to normal tissues can further impair the function of your liver.

  • Immunotherapy

Your immune system can stop itself from attacking healthy, normal cells in your body. That is possible using immune checkpoints, proteins on immune cells that turn on or off to start or stop an immune response. Cancerous cells manipulate the immune checkpoints to avoid being attacked.

Immunotherapy is a treatment solution that uses medications to help your immune system locate and destroy cancerous cells.

Chemotherapy medications such as Gemcitabine (Gemzar) and Oxaliplatin (Eloxatin) can also help treat liver cancer.

Contact Lenox Hill Surgeons, LLP today to schedule an appointment and learn about techniques for treating liver diseases and tumors.