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Methodist Healthcare

Liver cancer

The liver is your body's largest internal organ. It helps filter and circulate blood, removing toxins from your bloodstream. Liver cancer can severely limit these functions and cause additional health problems, so getting quick, effective treatment is critical.

Advanced liver cancer care in San Antonio

If you've been diagnosed with liver cancer, we work towards putting you on the path to recovery.

Methodist Healthcare's Liver and Biliary Cancer Center offers personalized services for liver, pancreas and biliary cancers. We are committed to delivering high-quality treatments, including minimally invasive surgery and radioembolization. Throughout your cancer journey, our nurse navigators provide helpful support and guidance.

Highly-specialized surgical options can offer the possibility of a cure for these types of malignancies. Our approach combines compassionate patient care with advanced treatment options provided by highly-trained specialists to manage all aspects of diagnosis, treatment and follow up under one roof.

To learn more about our Liver Cancer Center, call (210) 575-8110.

Types of liver cancer

Liver cancer is the fifth-highest cause of death for men. In addition, South Texas has the highest incidence of liver cancer in the U.S. This is about 5 percent higher than the rest of the country. According to our transplant hepatologist at Methodist Healthcare, diabetes, untreated hepatitis C, drug abuse and unprofessionally applied tattoos are the major factors contributing to the higher incidence.

Liver cancer is cancer that begins in the cells of your liver. Several types of cancer can form in the liver. The most common type of liver cancer is hepatocellular carcinoma, which begins in the main type of liver cell (hepatocyte). Other types of liver cancer, such as intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma and hepatoblastoma, are much less common.

Liver cancer risk factors

Factors that can increase your risk of developing primary liver cancer include:

  • Hepatitis B or hepatitis C infections
  • Cirrhosis of the liver (a progressive condition that causes scar tissue)
  • Inherited liver diseases (hemochromatosis and Wilson's disease)
  • Diabetes
  • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Aflatoxins exposure (mold-produced poisons)

Liver cancer symptoms

In the early stages of primary liver cancer, most people don't have signs or symptoms. However, when symptoms do appear, they may include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Upper abdominal pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Overall weakness and fatigue
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes)
  • White, chalky stool

Liver cancer treatment

Located at Methodist Hospital Specialty and Transplant, our Liver Cancer Center provides advanced cancer care treatments, such as:

  • Liver resection and transplantation
  • Minimally invasive surgery
  • Radiofrequency ablation
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radioembolization (a combination of radiation therapy and embolization)
  • Hepatobiliary surgery

Also located within Methodist Hospital Specialty and Transplant is our San Antonio Liver Disease and Transplant Clinic. This clinic offers treatments for:

  • Hepatitis C
  • Liver failure management
  • Liver cancer prevention
  • Chronic liver disease research

Liver cancer nurse navigator

A liver cancer nurse navigator is a healthcare professional with specialized education in oncology who is dedicated to working with a multidisciplinary team involved in the patient's cancer care. The navigator helps support the patient and the family through the many challenges of liver cancer, serving as a personal guide along the road to recovery.

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