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Surgery for liver cancer

surgical oncology

Surgery for liver cancer

Liver cancers are classified based on whether or not they can be completely removed (resected). Depending on the size and location of the tumor, it may be removed by partial or total surgery of the liver.

  • Localized resectable cancers are those that can be completely removed by surgery; only a small number of patients with liver cancer have such tumors.
  • Localized unresectable cancers are those that have not spread to the lymph nodes or distant organs but cannot be completely removed by surgery. This may be because the non-cancerous part of the liver is not healthy, the cancer has spread throughout the liver, or the tumor is close to the main arteries, veins and bile ducts.
  • Advanced cancers have spread to lymph nodes or other organs beyond the liver and cannot be treated with surgery.

What is surgery?

Surgery is used to diagnose, stage and treat cancer, and certain cancer-related symptoms. At Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA), our experienced surgeons have performed thousands of procedures and will discuss the surgical options that are best suited to your individual needs.

Whether a patient is a candidate for surgery depends on factors such as the type, size, location, grade and stage of the tumor, as well as general health factors such as age, physical fitness and other medical comorbidities. For many patients, surgery will be combined with other cancer treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy or hormone therapy. These may be administered before surgery (neoadjuvant) or after surgery (adjuvant) to help prevent cancer growth, spread or recurrence.

Early in the treatment planning process, we plan for and proactively manage any side effects from surgery. Our nutritionists, rehabilitation therapists and naturopathic clinicians work together with your surgical oncologist to support your healing and quality of life. Our reconstructive surgeons perform procedures to restore the body's appearance and function, often at the time of surgery or following surgery.