An outline of a woman's liver to highlight where it resides in the body

What Are The Treatment Options For Liver Metastasis?

There are many different types of cancer, and each one requires its own specific treatment. If you’re diagnosed with liver metastasis, your doctor will likely recommend a course of action that’s tailored to your individual situation. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the various treatment options for liver metastasis and what you can expect from each one. Keep in mind that this is just an overview – talk to your doctor to get more specific information about the treatments available to you.

What is liver metastasis?

Metastasis is the spread of cancer cells from one part of the body to another. Liver metastasis involves the spread of cancer from another part of the body to the liver. The most common cancers that spread to the liver are cancers of the colon, breast, pancreas, lung and stomach. Liver metastasis is a common complication of many cancers and can be difficult to treat.

What causes liver metastatis?

There are several possible causes of liver metastasis, including:

  • The cancer cells break away from the original tumour and travel through the blood or lymphatic system to the liver
  • The cancer cells enter the bloodstream directly from a tumour in another organ that is located near or touching the liver
  • Cancer cells attach themselves to small blood vessels in the liver and then grow into larger tumours

Liver metastasis symptoms

The majority of liver metastases do not cause any symptoms. Occasionally, large liver metastases can cause symptoms including the following:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain or bloating
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
  • Ascites (fluid accumulation in the abdomen)

Liver metastasis diagnosis

The most common way to diagnose liver metastasis is with a computed tomography (CT) scan. However, other tests that may be used to help diagnose liver metastasis include ultrasound scanning, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and a radioactive dye scan called a hepatobiliary scan.

Treatment for liver metastasis

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best treatment for liver metastasis will vary depending on the individual’s situation and health history. However, some possible options include liver surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy. It’s essential to consult with a doctor to determine the best course of action for each individual case.

If the metastases are causing pain or other symptoms, treatment may be necessary to relieve those symptoms. In some cases, if the metastases are not causing any problems, treatment may not be required, and doctors will just monitor the situation.

Are there any risks or side effects associated with the treatments for liver metastasis?

There are some risks and side effects associated with treatments for liver metastasis. The most common side effect of surgery is bleeding. Other risks include infection, damage to other organs, and anaesthesia complications. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy can also cause side effects such as hair loss, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea.

What should patients expect following treatment for liver metastases?

There is no single definitive answer to this question, as the treatment and prognosis for liver metastases can vary depending on underlying cancer, its stage, and other individual factors. However, in general, patients who have had treatment for liver metastases can expect to experience some relief from their symptoms and an improvement in their overall prognosis.

If you need more information about the diagnosis and treatment of liver metastasis, don’t hesitate to contact us at the Birmingham HPB Clinic.