Liver Cancer Treatment in Tampa Bay
What is Liver Cancer?
Liver cancer that begins in the cells of your liver is called primary liver cancer. It is a rare form of cancer, accounting for fewer that 200,000 cases per year, but it is serious. The most common form of primary liver cancer is hepatocellular carcinoma, or hepatic cancer. There are other forms of liver cancer, but they are much less common. Although the rates of liver cancer diagnosis are low in Florida and the rest of the United States, numbers have been gradually increasing.
People that are more susceptible to hepatocellular carcinoma typically suffer from chronic liver diseases, such as cirrhosis of the liver, which is often caused by hepatitis B or C infections or long-term alcohol abuse. Tests to detect hepatocellular carcinoma include blood tests to measure liver function, imaging such as a CT scan or MRI, or a liver biopsy.
Cancer that forms in other parts of the body, such as the bile ducts, lungs, colon, or breast and often spreads (metastasizes) to the liver. This is referred to as secondary liver cancer but is usually treated the same way as primary liver cancer.
Symptoms of Primary Liver Cancer
Typically, there are few signs and symptoms in the early stages of primary liver cancer. Symptoms that do appear may include:
- Unexplained weight loss
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes)
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Chalky or white stools
- General weakness and fatigue
- Swelling of the abdomen
You should see your doctor or one of the specialists at Tampa Bay Radiation Oncology if you experience any of these symptoms. Tampa Bay Radiation Oncology believes in the early detection of liver cancer by offering cancer screening programs and education to the Tampa, Florida community through involvement and support at local events.
Treatment for Liver Cancer
A treatment plan for liver cancer will depend on the size and location of the cancer, its stage, how well your liver is functioning and your overall health. Treatment for liver cancer may include one or more of the following, or a combination of several of the following:
- Surgery to remove the cancer and some of the surrounding tissue
- Ablation: Killing the cancer cells using extreme heat or cold
- A transplant to remove the diseased liver and replace it with a healthy one
- Targeted chemotherapy with high dose rate radiation therapy (brachytherapy)
- Other forms of radiation therapy
- Targeted drug therapy
Tampa Bay Radiation Oncology offers several of the most advanced treatment options available to liver cancer patients in Tampa, Florida, including Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy, Image Guided Radiation Therapy, High Dose Rate Radiation Therapy (brachytherapy) and CyberKnife Radiosurgery. If you or a loved one has received a liver cancer diagnosis, you can trust the liver cancer experts at Tampa Bay Radiation Oncology to work with you and your doctors to determine your best path forward.
Contact Tampa Bay Radiation Oncology today for more information about liver cancer and liver cancer treatment options. Tampa Bay Radiation Oncology has multiple Florida facilities located in the Tampa Bay area in Tampa and Brandon.