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Liver Tumors

What is a tumor?

Tumors are abnormal masses of tissue that form when cells begin to reproduce at an increased rate. The liver can grow both non-cancerous (benign) and cancerous (malignant) tumors.

How is liver hepatoma diagnosed?

In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, diagnostic procedures for a liver hepatoma may include the following:

  • liver function tests – a series of special blood tests that can determine if the liver is functioning properly.
  • abdominal ultrasound (Also called sonography.) – a diagnostic imaging technique which uses high-frequency sound waves to create an image of the internal organs. Ultrasounds are used to view internal organs of the abdomen such as the liver, spleen, and kidneys and to assess blood flow through various vessels.
  • computed tomography scan (CT or CAT scan) – a diagnostic imaging procedure using a combination of x-rays and computer technology to produce cross-sectional images (often called slices), both horizontally and vertically, of the body. A CT scan shows detailed images of any part of the body, including the bones, muscles, fat, and organs. CT scans are more detailed than general x-rays.
  • hepatic arteriography – x-rays taken after a substance in injected into the hepatic artery.
  • liver biopsy – a procedure in which tissue samples from the liver are removed (with a needle or during surgery) from the body for examination under a microscope.
Treatment for liver hepatoma:

Specific treatment for liver hepatoma will be determined by your physician based on:

  • your age, overall health, and medical history
  • extent of the disease
  • your tolerance of specific medicines, procedures, or therapies
  • expectations for the course of the disease
  • your opinion or preference
Treatment may include:
  • surgery In some cases surgery may be used to remove cancerous tissue from the liver. However, the tumor must be small and confined.
  • radiation therapy Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays to kill or shrink cancer cells.
  • chemotherapy Chemotherapy uses anticancer drugs to kill cancer cells.
  • liver transplantation