ZocdocAnswersCan Interventional Radiology Treatment help people with liver cancer live longer?

Question

Can Interventional Radiology Treatment help people with liver cancer live longer?

I am a 42 year old man with liver cancer. Will the radiology help? I realize they can't operate on my liver. Not sure what else they can do.

Answer

I am very sorry to hear that you are dealing with liver cancer, and that it sounds to be quite advanced. I highly suggest that you have an honest discussion with the primary cancer doctor who has been managing your case, as they are the only one who will be able to provide you an accurate assessment of your current prognosis and what treatments might still be available to you. Interventional radiologists are sometimes involved in the treatment of liver cancer, particular in cases in which multiple tumors are present in the liver which are not amenable to surgery or other treatments. The interventional radiologist approaches the tumor usually be snaking a catheter through a blood vessel until arriving at the tumor. Once the catheter is in position, several different treatments can be done. These include chemoembolization or radioembolization, which deposit chemotherapy drugs or radioactive substances directly into the tumor, which can reduce its size. Other options include using the tip of the catheter to "burn" the tumor, a process which is called radiofrequency ablation. Without knowing more about your case, however, I can't comment on whether these techniques are indicated in your case or would be helpful to you.

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