The best possibility of a cure for liver cancer is with surgery, but surgery is only possible if the cancer is caught early enough.
The goal of surgery is to remove the part of the liver containing the cancerous tumor. Surgery is best suited for tumors which have not grown into the blood vessels.
In cases where the liver cancer has not metastasized, surgery is an option if the liver is functioning well. If liver cancer has metastasized, it means it has spread from the liver to other parts of the body.
People with liver cirrhosis are not candidates for surgery because there may not be enough viable liver tissue.
Localized tumors are resectable and can be removed by surgery. Unfortunately, only a small number of people with liver cancer have resectable tumors.
Some localized tumors are unresectable even though cancer has not spread to lymph nodes or distant organs and tissues. They are considered unrespectable because:
- The liver may not be healthy
- Has spread all through the liver
- The tumor is too close to vital arteries, veins and bile ducts.
Advanced stage liver cancer that has spread through to organs, tissues and lymph nodes cannot be treated with surgery.
If liver cirrhosis and cancer do not damage your liver or has not spread beyond your liver, your doctor will recommend surgical treatment.
Because you need your liver, it is impossible to remove it completely. Your doctor will, therefore, removal of part of your liver, with a surgical procedure called a partial hepatectomy.