Cancer can begin in the liver (primary) or spread to the liver from
another part of the body (metastatic). Most primary liver cancers occur
in people with chronic liver disease or cirrhosis.
The most common type is hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). A less common
type of primary liver cancer, cholangiocarcinoma, originates in the bile
ducts. People with primary
sclerosing cholangitis have an increased risk for bile duct cancer,
but the cancer can occur in anyone.
At Lankenau Medical Center, a multidisciplinary team of specialists is
dedicated to prevention, early detection, and effective treatment of
primary liver cancers. Our physician
team is experienced in using the latest diagnostic and therapeutic
technologies and applying the most advanced medical science available to
help patients avoid or fight these challenging cancers.
Preventing or effectively treating chronic liver disease can reduce the
risk of HCC. In addition, screening and surveillance for HCC in people
at risk allows early detection and more effective treatment should HCC
develop. HCC is potentially curable with early detection and treatment.
Early detection and treatment also offer the possibility of cure for
bile duct cancer (cholangiocarcinoma), but this cancer generally is more
difficult to cure and treat.
Lankenau Medical Center offers the following services for prevention and
early detection of liver cancer:
Prevention of HCC. Our efforts to prevent HCC are
focused on reducing risk from viral hepatitis and other causes of
cirrhosis. Services include:
Early detection of HCC is accomplished through
systematic surveillance of patients at high risk for HCC. Our
surveillance program is tailored to the individual patient and follows
2010 guidelines from the American Association for the Study of Liver
Diseases (AASLD). Patients typically are screened with semiannual
ultrasound evaluations. If a suspicious lesion is seen, further
evaluation is pursued.
Early detection of cholangiocarcinoma. Here, our focus
is on identifying early lesions in patients at risk. Unfortunately,
there is no effective way to screen patients for cholangiocarcinoma.
Patients with primary sclerosing cholangitis typically undergo
semiannual magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography or ultrasound
evaluations. If a suspicious lesion is seen, patients are sent for
endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography to further delineate the
For more information, call 1.866.CALL.MLH.