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Liver Cancer

 201-227-6008   |    cancer@holyname.org

Overview

The liver is a large organ located in the upper right of the abdomen, above the stomach. It is essential for food digestion and creates a substance called bile, which is necessary to break down food.

There are two types of live cancer. Primary liver cancer starts in the liver. Secondary, or metastatic liver cancer is more common. It is a cancer that has moved from another organ of the body into the liver. The two types require different treatment.

Approximately 42,000 cases of liver cancer are diagnosed each year. It is more common in men than women and occurs more frequently in people who have Hepatitis B or C, or who drink a lot of alcohol.

The Patricia Lynch Cancer Center at Holy Name has a multi–disciplinary team of experienced and skilled surgical oncologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, nurses and support staff to diagnose and treat liver cancer. Together they provide a compassionate, unified approach in creating a personal strategy for each patient's unique medical, emotional and lifestyle needs.


  • Weight loss

  • Loss of appetite

  • Fullness

  • Abdominal pain

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Itching

  • Jaundice

  • Male sex

  • Asian or Pacific islander heritage

  • Hepatitis B or C

  • Cirrhosis

  • Heavy alcohol use

  • Type 2 diabetes

  • Obesity

  • History and physical exam

  • Ultrasound

  • CT Scan

  • MRI

  • Blood tests

  • Biopsy

The type of treatment given for liver cancer depends on whether the cancer originated in the liver or if it spread from another organ. When the cancer develops in the liver and it's at an early stage, surgery is typically performed. At times, a liver transplant is appropriate.

When the cancer has spread, surgery may be used but more frequently, it is treated with a combination of chemotherapy and tumor ablation or embolization – non–surgical procedures that use electrical currents to kill the tumor or block the blood supply to the tumor, respectively.