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Four Things to Know About Liver Cancer Treatment

Your liver cancer treatment may involve a number of different therapies, such as surgery, ablation, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, embolization, targeted therapy and/or immunotherapy. Your health care team can help you learn about your choices, answer your specific questions and recommend the most appropriate treatment plan for you.

How to prepare for liver cancer treatment

Before you get started, here are four helpful things to know about liver cancer treatment:

  1. You can seek the opinion of another expert – Before making a final decision on your treatment plan, you may want to request a second opinion about your diagnosis, stage and treatment options. Don’t worry about offending your physician; he or she will likely encourage you to do so. Whether the second physician you consult with agrees with the first or suggests a different approach, you will benefit from having more information, which in turn can help you feel more confident in your choices.
  2. Your physician may refer you to a specialist – Depending on the treatments you are planning to receive, you may work with one or more specialists, such as hepatobiliary surgeons, surgical oncologists, transplant surgeons, gastroenterologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists and registered dietitians. Each of these medical professionals offers the benefit of highly refined knowledge, skills and experience.
  3. You may experience side effects – Because cancer treatments are very powerful, they can sometimes damage healthy tissues along with cancerous cells. The side effects of liver cancer treatment can vary based on the approach utilized and other factors. Some people develop nausea, vomiting, mouth sores, loss of appetite, high blood pressure, chest pains, bleeding problems or blisters. Your treatment team can recommend ways to help you manage any side effects that you experience.
  4. You will be tired – Overwhelming feelings of weakness and exhaustion can result from the side effects of treatment or the cancer itself. Your body will need to expend a significant amount of energy to fight off cancer, so it will be important for you to consume a nutritious diet, get enough sleep and maintain your regular activity level as much as possible during your treatment.

If you’d like to explore your liver cancer treatment options with an oncologist in the Gastrointestinal Oncology Program at Moffitt Cancer Center, you can request an appointment by calling 1-888-663-3488 or completing our new patient registration form online. No referrals are necessary.