Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Chemoembolization for liver cancer

Chemoembolization for liver cancer

Unlike other organs, the liver has two blood supplies – the portal vein that feeds most normal liver cells and the hepatic artery that feeds cancer cells in the liver. This unique feature of the liver allows your doctor to kill the cancer cells while sparing the healthy tissue.

Despite the different blood supplies to the tumor and normal cells of the liver, chemoembolization reduces some of the blood supply to the normal liver tissue. This is a serious issue if you have cirrhosis in parts of the liver not affected by cancer.

The general embolization side effects may include abdominal pain, fever, liver infection, gallbladder inflammation and blood clots in the main blood vessels of the liver.

Your care team will work together with other clinicians on your care team, which may include the naturopathic medicine, pain management and nutrition teams, to help prevent and ease any side effects you experience.