What is hepatocellular carcinoma?
Liver cancer or hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is among of the common malignant tumours in the world, with a global increasing annual incidence, as reported recently. Almost half of this increase has been attributed to hepatitis C virus (HCV), while a minimal or no increase has been related to hepatitis B virus (HBV) or alcoholic liver disease. Untreated HCC has a notoriously poor prognosis, with a median survival of one to eight months and a five year survival of around 3%.
What are the treatment options for liver cancer?
Potentially curative surgical therapeutic options:
- Partial hepatic resection of HCC with adequate margins
- Liver transplantation for HCC
(However, only 30% to 40% of patients with HCC qualify for surgery, mostly due to advanced disease at presentation and poor hepatic function, rendering the majority of patients eligible only for palliation)
Non-surgical palliative treatment options:
- Radiofrequency ablation
- Transcatheter Arterial Chemoembolisation (TACE)
- Percutaneous Ethanol (Alcohol) Injection