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Liver Cancer

Liver Cancer

About Liver Cancer

Liver cancer can cause abdominal pain, weight loss, and jaundice (yellow discoloration of the skin and eyes). If you develop symptoms of liver cancer, Arizona Center for Cancer Care’s board-certified oncologists can help. The practice has offices spread across Avondale, Chandler, Gilbert, Glendale, Mesa, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Surprise, Anthem, Peoria, Fountain Hills, Wickenburg, Apache Junction, Sun City, Sun City West, Goodyear, and Tempe, Arizona. Each office can provide an accurate diagnosis and innovative liver cancer treatments, so call your nearest one or book an in-person or telemedicine appointment online today.

Liver Cancer Q & A

What is liver cancer?

Liver cancer (a form of gastrointestinal cancer) develops when cell genes in this vital organ mutate, making them multiply rapidly. Masses in the liver affect your digestion, including vitamin and mineral storage and blood filtering.

Types of liver cancer that the Arizona Center for Cancer Care specialists see most often include:

Hepatocellular carcinoma

Hepatocellular carcinoma accounts for about 75% of liver cancers. It affects cells called hepatocytes and often results from prolonged alcohol abuse. 


Cholangiocarcinoma affects the bile ducts in your liver that transport bile (a digestive fluid) into your small intestine. It accounts for most other cases of liver cancer. 

Rarer forms of liver cancer include liver angiosarcoma in the organ’s blood vessels and hepatoblastoma, which typically affects children under age three.

What are the symptoms of liver cancer?

Liver cancer symptoms include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Upper abdominal pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal swelling
  • White, chalky stools
  • General weakness and fatigue
  • Unintended weight loss

Jaundice (yellow discoloration of the whites of your eyes and skin) is a primary indicator of liver problems.

Some people don’t develop symptoms until their liver cancer reaches a more advanced stage.

How is liver cancer treated?

Your provider at Arizona Center for Cancer Care designs a personalized treatment plan for you. It considers factors like the type of liver cancer you have, how advanced it is, and your general health. Non-surgical treatments for liver cancer include:


Chemotherapy uses strong drugs that destroy actively growing cells. This works well on cancer cells because they’re growing aggressively, but chemotherapy also kills healthy growing cells. It can cause unpleasant side effects like nausea, vomiting, and hair loss. 

Radiation therapy

Radiation therapy uses high-energy radiation beams to shrink cancerous tumors.

Arizona Center for Cancer Care uses cutting-edge techniques like stereotactic radiosurgery (STRS) for liver cancer. Your doctor uses computer software to pinpoint the tumor’s location. They deliver higher doses of radiation to the cancer cells while minimizing the effect of radiation on the surrounding healthy tissue.


Immunotherapy helps your immune system eliminate cancer cells. Your immune system struggles to deal with cancer cells because they have proteins on them that prevent your immune system from detecting them. Immunotherapy works by blocking the action of these proteins.


Cryoablation freezes cancerous liver cells. Your doctor freezes cancer cells with liquid nitrogen using an instrument called a cryoprobe. Radiofrequency ablation damages cancerous liver cells using heat from radiofrequency energy.

Surgery might be necessary for liver cancer, and transplantation might be the only solution for the most advanced cases. Patients can sometimes participate in clinical trials for new or improved liver cancer treatments.

To discuss the best treatment for your liver cancer, call Arizona Center for Cancer Care or book an appointment online today.