What treatments are available for liver tumors?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 25, 2016
Margie.54 asked...

I need information on Cirrhosis of the liver and treatment of tumors in/on the liver.

Expert Answers

Jennifer Serafin, N.P. is a registered nurse and geriatric nurse practitioner at the Jewish Homes for the Aged in San Francisco.

The liver's major job is to detoxifying and purify our blood. If the liver becomes damaged from some disease or alcoholism, it cannot perform its vital functions effectively. Soon, scar tissue develops in the liver tissue, called cirrhosis. Liver tumors can be caused by chronic liver damage as well, especially from hepatitis.

Treatments for the cirrhosis focus on minimizing damage to the liver by treating the underlying cause of the disease. For alcoholism, you need to stop drinking, and start a treatment program for alcohol addiction. For hepatitis, there are some medications that can help reduce the damage to liver cells caused by hepatitis B or C. People with advanced cirrhosis may require liver transplants if their livers are no longer functioning. A liver transplant is a procedure to remove your liver and replace it with another liver donated from a deceased donor or with part of a liver from a living donor.

As for the complications of cirrhosis and liver tumors, they include: 1) Ascities: This is excess fluid in your abdomen. There can also be fluid in your legs called edema. A low salt diet can help. Also, duiretics can be perscribed to help get rid of excess fluid. Sometimes, the fluid can accumulate so much that you may require a procedure called paracentesis to drain the fluid from the belly. 2) Portal vein hypertension. Blood pressure medications may control the increasing pressure in the veins around your liver. Infections. You may receive antibiotics or other treatments for infections. 3) Hepatic encephalopathy. Toxins that your liver would normally clear build up in the bloodstream, eventually causing confusion or even lead to a coma.

I would recommend seeing a Gastroenterologist/ Oncologist who specializes in liver disease and tumors for the most up to date treatments. Good luck!