Liver cancer is the fifth most common cause of cancer deaths among men, and the ninth most common cause of cancer deaths in women. According to the American Cancer Society, more than 24,000 adults in the United States were diagnosed with primary liver cancer in 2010. At Lahey Hospital & Medical Center, our Liver Cancer Center treats both primary and secondary liver cancers. The most common type of primary liver cancer is hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), which arises in liver cells known as hepatocytes. About 3 out of 4 cancers that start in the liver are this type. We also treat bile duct cancers, which account for 1 or 2 out of every 10 cases of liver cancer. Cancer that has spread to the liver from other areas of the body, such as the breast, colon, and lung are also treated at our Liver Cancer Center. Patients with cirrhosis are considered to be at high risk for the development of liver cancer, especially those with hepatitis B, hepatitis C, hemochromatosis or alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency. Liver cancer detected early in patients with cirrhosis can be cured with liver transplantation.
Lahey’s Liver Cancer Center is led by a multidisciplinary team of more than 20 physicians who are at the forefront of comprehensive and innovative treatments for the care of patients with liver cancer. Our experienced team is made up of surgical oncologists, medical oncologists, transplant surgeons, hepatologists, diagnostic radiologists, interventional radiologists, pathologists and radiation oncologists dedicated to providing the highest quality, optimal treatment for each individual patient. Our multidisciplinary approach is central to an individualized treatment plan, since many patients will receive more than one treatment. For liver cancer, this may include a combination of surgical and nonsurgical treatments:
Depending on the overall health of the patient, liver function and tumor size, our team will collaborate to customize the treatment plan for optimal patient care. For patients with liver cancer that is inoperable, our Liver Cancer Center combines compassionate care with advanced clinical trials to improve the overall survival and quality of life for patients with liver cancer.