Liver Cancer - Hepatocellular carcinoma and Colorectal Liver Metastases

Hepatocellular Carcinoma

What is a hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC)?

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a cancer of the liver. It usually arises in patients with pre-existing liver disease.

How may it present?

It may present in a number of ways including:

  • finding of a lump in the abdomen,
  • as an incidental finding on scans of the liver
  • worsening liver function
  • during surveillance scans in patients with liver disease

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Liver Lesions

What are liver lesions?

Liver lesions are essentially abnormalities in the liver which are seen on a scan. They represent an area where the tissues are different from the rest of the liver. These may be tumours, areas of infection (such as an abscess) or areas where the fat content is different. However, the most common use of this term is in reference to tumours in the liver, both benign and malignant.

Are all liver tumours bad?

No. A tumour simply refers to an abnormal growth. This may be a benign thing, such as a haemangioma or it can be malignant (cancerous) thing such as a liver cancer.

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Liver Resection

What is a liver resection?

Liver resection is the surgical removal of part of the liver. It can often be done either by open surgery or laparoscopically (“keyhole surgery”).

When is a liver resection required?

The most common reason for performing a liver resection is for cancer or other tumours of the liver. Not all cancers and malignant tumours can be removed surgically. Depending on the number of tumours, their size and their location as well as the patient’s liver function, the surgeon can determine whether or not a tumour should be removed or not. Spread to other organs is also an important consideration.

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