Liver Cancer

(hepatic cancer) hepatoma hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cholangiocarcinoma and cholangiocellular cystadenocarcinoma, angiosarcoma, hemangioendothelioma, embryonal sarcoma and fibrosarcoma, liver cancer treatment abroad, liver cancer nanoknife treatment)

Liver tumours are usually discovered by accident. To diagnose a liver cancer you will probably need to undergo specific medical examinations including:

  • Liver function test;
  • Biopsy;
  • Blood tests;
  • CT – Computed tomography scan;
  • Spiral CT scan;
  • MRI – Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Tumour markers (AFP, CA 19-9, CEA, CA125)

A patient suffering from liver cancer may notice following symptoms: abdominal pain, nausea, liver dysfunction, yellow skin colour, abdominal pressure. As the liver cancer is an umbrella for many cancer types (because of tumour metastasis to liver tissues) the signs and symptoms may depend on from the kind of cancer that is present in the Patient’s body. Suffering from cholangiocarcinoma can be associated with weight loss, liver enlargement, abdominal pain, sweating, icterus. Hepatocellular often gives following side effects – emesis, abdominal pain, anaemia, back pain, icterus, fever, weight loss.

Key factors which cause liver cancer is cirrhosis caused by hepatitis B, C or alcohol abuse. The group of chemicals named Aflatoxin (peanuts, cereals can be contaminated) can be a strong factor in liver cancer development. Obesity, diabetes, smoking also increases the risk of liver cancer.
Liver tumours can be formed from the liver organ or other tissues and structures such as blood vessels or bile duct. Globally the liver cancer is the sixth most frequent cancer. In the UK liver cancer is the eighteenth most commonly detected and twelfth most common death cause in the field of cancers. The majority of tumours occur in the hilar liver region.

Liver cancer is usually treated with chemotherapy, radiotherapy and additional medicines. NanoKnife is a turn and a big chance in this cancer treatment. NanoKnife is a very precise medical device which administers high voltage energy into the liver tumour. Usually, 3-4 needles surround the tumour. Changes in the membrane potential of the cell wall crush holes in it. This micro-holes called porations cause the death of tumour cells – apoptosis. The treatment does not require extremely high temperatures as in other methods – it works on the unique ablation technology.

The night before the procedure Patient is not allowed to eat; only water is allowed but only to up to 2 hours before the NanoKnife procedure. For the surgery, Patient is placed under general anaesthesia and under the computer tomography or ultrasound guidance as the radiologists sees precisely where to put NanoKnife electrodes. While electrodes are placed the generator sends short and powerful electric pulses directly into the tumour.

NanoKnife is considered as the safe and effective procedure in liver cancer treatment, for the past years it has been investigated, and the results are promising. Due to clinical trials and studies usually, no major side effects occur and are observed. In the pilot safety study the pathological report after 30 days was negative in 8/11 patients (73%).Focal IRE has a low toxicity profile with encouraging genito-urinary functional outcomes.

Note that the efficacy of treatment differs from the health condition of the Patient, previous treatment (chemo is very aggravating for the human body, and the NanoKnife is recommended as the first method in the cancer curation), the location of the cancer chance and other factors.