Hearing the words, “You have liver cancer,” is very scary. However, Radiation Oncologist Dr. Mark Pomper says, “The good news is that while liver cancer was once considered a death sentence, there is now effective treatment when it’s caught at an early stage.
In the United States, adult primary liver cancer occurs most often in people older than 60 and men are more likely than women to develop liver cancer.
What is the main cause of liver cancer?
The exact cause of liver cancer is unknown, but most cases are associated with damage and scarring of the liver known as cirrhosis. Cirrhosis can have a number of different causes, including drinking excessive amounts of alcohol over many years and having a long-term hepatitis B or hepatitis C viral infection.
Does liver cancer spread fast?
Liver cancer can spread quickly depending on the type of cancer. Hemangiosarcoma and angiosarcoma types of liver cancer are fast spreading, whereas hepatocellular carcinoma spreads late in the disease.
Is cancer of the liver curable?
Any liver cancer is difficult to cure. Primary liver cancer is rarely detected early when it is most treatable. Secondary or metastatic liver cancer is hard to treat because it has already spread. The liver’s complex network of blood vessels and bile ducts makes surgery difficult.
CyberKnife Radiation Therapy for Liver Cancer:
CyberKnife offers patients a non-invasive option for both primary and metastatic liver cancer treatment with great success.
It is used to treat lesions in people who are not candidates for surgery, those who choose not to have surgery or those who have failed chemotherapy treatment.
Treating Liver Cancer with CyberKnife:
Treating liver cancer with traditional radiation therapy is not an option due to the sensitivity of liver tissue to radiation. CyberKnife’s tracking technology eliminates that risk.
The system can continuously pinpoint and follow a tumor’s exact location as the patient breathes normally while on the treatment table, enabling 100 to 200 radiation beams to attack only the tumor from all different angles, leaving healthy tissue unharmed.
It kills the tumor cells and over time the tumor disappears. CyberKnife Radiotherapy delivers high doses of radiation in three to five treatments with excellent control rates.
If there is a recurrence, we can often treat it again, even if it is close to the previously treated area.
At CyberKnife Miami, our CyberKnife team of specialists includes: Radiation Oncologists, Medical Physicists, and specially trained Radiation Therapists.
The Radiation Oncologist determines the target area for treatment along with the critical structures and determines the total and daily dose of radiation to safely give based on the size and type of tumor.
The Medical Physicist makes the treatment plan for each patient based on the Radiation Oncologists orders.
Our specially trained Radiation Therapists under the supervision of the Radiation Oncologist and Medical Physicist deliver the treatment. Our team has been at CyberKnife Miami since 2004 making us one of the most experienced CyberKnife teams in the country.
The CyberKnife treatment is completely pain-free. Patients dress comfortably in their own clothes and can bring music to listen to during the treatment. Nothing will be required of the patient during the treatment, except to relax. In fact, patients often sleep through the treatment.
There are generally only minimal side effects from CyberKnife treatments, which may include mild nausea and fatigue.
After completing the CyberKnife treatment, patients will schedule follow-up appointments.
You will be required to have follow-up scans in four to eight weeks. (CT, MRI, or PET scan) Your doctor will determine when those are necessary. The tumor will take some time before it is not active or undetectable.
Response to treatment varies from patient to patient. However, clinical experience has shown that most patients respond very well to CyberKnife treatments.
Liver Cancer Treatment FAQs:
What are the Symptoms of Liver Cancer?
Some symptoms of liver cancer are:
Unexplained weight loss
Loss of appetite
The feeling of fullness in the abdomen
What are the Risk Factors of Liver Cancer?
The two most prominent risk factors for liver cancer are alcohol abuse and smoking tobacco. Existing conditions may also increase your risk of developing liver cancer such as cirrhosis of the liver, metabolic diseases, and diabetes.
How is Liver Cancer Diagnosed?
Most cases of liver cancer are detected when a patient complains of any of the above symptoms. The doctor will then prescribe tests such as:
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
Computed Tomography (CT)
Where Can I Get Liver Cancer Treatment in Miami?
There are many ways to treat liver cancer, however, one of the most effective is radiation therapy. You can receive radiation therapy for liver cancer treatment in Miami by visiting the CyberKnife Cancer Treatment Center.
How Does Liver Cancer Treatment with CyberKnife Work?
CyberKnife uses highly advanced precision and tracking technology to continuously pinpoint and follow a tumor’s exact location. The CyberKnife System delivers 100 to 200 radiation beams to attack only the tumor from various angles.
This leaves healthy tissue unharmed while destroying cancerous cells. This is especially beneficial when treating liver cancer because the liver tissue is so sensitive to radiation and treating large volumes of liver tissue can destroy the liver.
CyberKnife’s technology eliminates the risk of healthy tissue being affected by radiation while providing a pain-free, incision-free alternative to liver cancer treatment.
Am I a Candidate for Liver Cancer Treatment with CyberKnife?
In order to determine if you are eligible to receive radiation therapy with the CyberKnife Center of Miami, one of our specially trained Radiation Oncologists will need to meet with you for a consultation.
During your consultation, the Radiation Oncologist will review your medical history, your cancer diagnosis, your personal information and review your previous imaging studies.
Most people do qualify for liver cancer treatment with CyberKnife radiation therapy.
CyberKnife therapy is a painless and minimally invasive alternative liver cancer treatment. To find out if CyberKnife therapy would be a good fit for you, please call (800) 204-0455 and watch the patient educational video on how liver cancer is treated non-invasively with CyberKnife Radiation Therapy.