Worldwide, liver cancer is the third leading cause of cancer deaths after lung and stomach cancer. Liver cancer can be detected through CT scans and is treatable when caught early.
At CHI Saint Joseph Health, we’re committed to providing compassionate, high-quality cancer care to the Central Kentucky communities we serve. From the most advanced imaging technology available, to a full range of treatment options and support services, you’ll find everything you need at locations close to home.
Learn more about our comprehensive care below. To request a referral to one of our caring specialists, call 844.303.9355, or find a provider anytime online.
Your liver is a football-sized organ that sits beneath your diaphragm and above your stomach. It has several important functions, including:
Liver cancer occurs when the cells inside the liver develop mutations, grow out of control and eventually form a tumor. The most common form of living cancer is Hepatocellular Carcinoma, although some forms of liver cancer are also caused by cirrhosis.
Not all cancers that affect the liver are considered liver cancer; some begin in other organs and spread to the liver; these are called metastatic cancer. These types of cancer are more common than cancers that originate in the liver.
Common signs include:
It is not known exactly what causes liver cancer, but some risk factors have been associated with the majority of diagnosed cases:
Liver cancer does not usually cause signs or symptoms in the early stages, and there are currently no routine screening tests. The good news is that most of the risk factors for liver cancer can be avoided or mitigated by:
Liver cancer is usually detected at more advanced stage because it can grow quite large before it causes discomfort or pain. At CHI Saint Joseph Health, we have several ways to confirm the presence of liver cancer:
A doctor will evaluate your symptoms and decide which method is the least-invasive and most likely to find tumors or cancerous cells.
If you find that you have liver cancer, rest assured you have some of the Commonwealth’s best experts by your side. Our dedicated team will work closely with you to create a personalized treatment plan, which may include one or a combination of:
Surgery may be performed to remove a tumor, as well as some surrounding tissue to help ensure the cancer is eliminated. Replacing the entire liver in a transplant is also a possibility.
Chemotherapy is used to kill cancer cells with medicines delivered in varied cycles through either an IV or a pill. It is usually given after the surgical removal of a tumor, to kill any remaining or missed cancer cells. When larger areas of the liver are involved, treatment may involve giving chemotherapy directly into the liver, or a procedure called embolization, which blocks blood flow to parts of the liver to "starve" the tumor cells. It might also be used if the tumor has returned or spread. Whenever possible, CHI Saint Joseph Health uses newer medications that help minimize the side effects of chemotherapy.
Radiation therapy uses high energy X-rays to shrink or kill cancer cells. Radiation may also be used to help prevent recurrence of disease. These brief, painless treatments can be specifically directed at the part of the body where the cancer is located. Treatments are delivered by linear accelerators, where patients lie on a table in a specially designed room.
Throughout your journey, you’ll find a variety of cancer support services to meet your physical, emotional, spiritual and financial needs.
To make your appointment, find a cancer specialist anytime online or learn more about our dedicated team at a CHI Saint Joseph Health – Cancer Care location near you:
Find a primary care provider or specialist near you in our extensive network of clinics and hospitals.