About this disease
What it concerns
Liver cancer often arises from chronic liver disease. Risk factors for chronic liver disease and thus possible triggers for the development of liver cancer can be excessive alcohol consumption, infectious hepatitis or fatty degeneration of the liver not caused by alcohol.
Liver cancer proper, hepatocellular carcinoma, is when the malignant tumor originates from the liver cells (hepatocytes). To be distinguished from this and not to be confused with liver cancer are metastases from other tumors located outside the liver that spread to the liver.
Symptoms and consequences
In most cases, liver cancer is detected as an incidental finding, as it does not usually cause any symptoms in the early stages. In advanced stages, symptoms such as pain in the upper abdomen, weight loss or loss of appetite may become apparent. If liver dysfunction occurs, the disease is usually already well advanced.
How we can help you
Examination and diagnosis
The first indications of liver cancer are usually seen during an ultrasound examination, a computer tomography (CT) scan or by determining a tumor marker (AFP) during a blood test. The disease can be confirmed by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with contrast medium, where the liver cancer is clearly visible and the diagnosis can be confirmed.
The treatment concept is discussed during the interdisciplinary tumor case discussion, the so-called tumor board. In early stages, surgical removal, radiofrequency ablation or liver transplantation can be performed. If the cancer is more advanced, local tumor ablation in combination with drug treatment may be considered. Local tumor ablation is a method in which thin probes or catheters are inserted and the tumor is destroyed by laser, radiofrequency or the introduction of tumor-killing substances.