Treatment of Liver Cancer

What Is Liver Cancer?

Liver cancer are abnormal growth of cells that either originate from the liver or spread to the liver, multiplying and growing uncontrollably, spreading to other organs if left untreated.

Primary and Secondary Liver Cancer

Primary liver cancer arises from the liver (hepatocytes) or biliary cells (bile ducts). Secondary liver cancer is cancer that has spread to the liver from other organs by way of lymphatics, the portal circulation, or the systemic circulation. Colon cancer is a type of cancer that often metastasizes (or spreads) to the liver, resulting in secondary liver cancer.

Choosing Your Liver Cancer Surgeon

Dr. Mark Fraiman is an expert liver surgeon, well-known for his success in removing liver tumors with great skill and outstanding outcomes. Dr. Fraiman proudly heads the Liver and Pancreas Center of St. Joseph Medical Center, a state-of-the-art facility for liver cancer treatment in Baltimore, MD.

His extensive experience and training, as well as patient-centered approach care has earn Dr. Fraiman numerous awards and honors. Working alongside a multidisciplinary team of specialists, Dr. Fraiman provides comprehensive and individualized care to each of his patients.

Primary Liver Cancer

  • Hepatocellular Cancer (liver origin)
  • Cholangiocarcinoma (bile duct origin)

Secondary Liver Cancer

  • Metastatic Colorectal Carcinoma

Liver Cancer Risk Factors

  • Hepatitis B and C
  • Cirrhosis of the liver
  • Alfatoxin exposure
  • Anabolic steroids
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Smoking

Liver Cancer Symptoms

  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms
  • Jaundice
  • Abdominal pain and swelling
  • Malaise and fatigue

TNM (AJCC) Staging Liver Cancer

  • T (number and size of liver cancer)
  • N (presence of regional lymph nodes)
  • M (Metastases or spread to other organs)

Why Choose Us?

Our experts at the St. Joseph’s Medical Center use a multidisciplinary approach for the management and treatment of benign liver tumors, as well as pancreas and liver cancer. Our specialists are at the forefront of treating liver diseases, both with liver surgery and other techniques, such as radiofrequency ablation and liver transplantation (performed by Dr. Fraiman’s colleagues at University of Maryland).

Surgical Tumor Removal-Resection

Dr. Fraiman at the St. Joseph’s Medical Center has adopted a unique approach toward the treatment of liver cancer, known as liver resection surgery. Patients who may have been told they were not eligible for surgery are evaluated by our multidisciplinary team and are often found to be good candidates for liver resection surgery. With continued chemotherapy, a patient’s tumor that was previously thought to be nonremovable can sometimes be removed through surgery and with favorable results.

The successful removal of a liver tumor depends on:

• Location of the tumor
• Distribution of masses
• Number of masses
• How much liver will be left after surgery

It is possible to do an extensive resection of the liver (up to 75%), since the remaining part of the liver can grow to compensate for the portion that was surgically removed.

Determination of Candidacy for Liver Resection

Dr. Fraiman is highly skilled in treating patients with advanced cancer of the liver. In collaboration with other specialists on our multidisciplinary team, Dr. Fraiman will determine whether it is possible to surgically remove the tumor or all the diseased portion while leaving enough liver behind.

In cases where the disease has spread aggressively throughout the liver and surgery is considered unindicated, our liver specialists will use chemotherapy to shrink the tumor. Portal vein embolization can be used as an adjunct that enables the remnant liver to grow, therefore allowing the surgeon to perform extensive resections.

For suitable patients, our specialists may perform laparoscopic tumor removal, which involves removing a portion of the liver using minimally invasive techniques that require small incisions and have faster recovery periods.

Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA)

Radiofrequency ablation may be used as an alternative to liver surgery to treat early-stage liver cancer, ideally when the tumor is less than 5 centimeters in diameter. It is also used to treat tumors larger than 5c centimeters in diameter, although the treatment will have to be repeated in such cases. These treatments involve using heat from microwaves or radio waves to kill cancer cells and shrink the tumors.

Liver Transplant (Performed at University of Maryland)

A liver transplant will be considered if:

• You have a single tumor which is less than 5 centimeters in diameter
• You have multiple small tumors, each less than 3 centimeters in diameter
• You are responding well to other treatment, and there’s no evidence of regrowth after six months

Is Liver Cancer Curable?

If liver cancer is at stage A, a complete cure is possible. If it is at stage B and C, a cure is not usually possible, but chemotherapy can slow the disease’s progression and prolong life. If it’s at stage D, it’s usually too late to stop or slow the progression of the illness, and treatment is often targeted at relieving the symptoms of pain and discomfort.

Can You Live With Liver Cancer?

No one can say exactly how long you’ll live with liver cancer because it depends on individual prognoses and treatments. However, for more information regarding liver cancer treatment or a consultation with the best liver specialist, please feel free to get in touch by completing our contact form. We will get back to you as soon as possible.

In the following video, Dr. Mark Fraiman discusses the evaluation and treatment of liver cancer. Dr. Fraiman is an expert surgeon with a vast experience of liver cancer treatment in Baltimore, MD.
In the following video, Dr. Mark Fraiman discusses liver anatomy and liver surgery.