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Liver Cancer

Liver cancer is a cancer that initiates in the cells of the liver called hepatocytes. The exact cause of liver cancer is unknown but most are associated with liver damage known as cirrhosis.

Liver cancer causes

Liver cancer can be caused by excessive alcohol intake over a number of years, having the long term viral infections hepatitis B or C, a liver disease called primary biliary cirrhosis, which damages bile ducts in the liver, and haemochromatosis, an inherited disorder causing a slow build up of iron levels.

Being overweight or obese can elevate risk.

Symptoms

As with many liver conditions, the symptoms may be slow to emerge and are often only noticeable after the liver damage has reached an advanced stage.

They can include unexplained weight loss, feeling sick and vomiting, feeling full after eating even a small meal, jaundice, itchy skin, feeling weak and tired.

Diagnosis

A patient should see a GP after experiencing any of the symptoms and may be referred to a hepatologist with specialized knowledge of liver conditions.

A blood test and range of imaging scans – ultrasound, CT and MRI – can show how the liver is functioning and detect stiffness and scarring.

Treatment

Cancer Research UK states the 42 per cent of liver cancer cases is preventable as they are linked to avoidable lifestyle factors. If it is diagnosed early, the cancer may be totally removable.

A surgical resection of the liver – removing part of it – can be performed if the cancer is small and no major blood vessels are involved. A lobectomy to remove a lobe of the liver can be effective as the liver can grow back and work normally after surgery providing there are no underlying medical problems.

Radiofrequency ablation which uses radio waves, delivered a by a probe into the tumour, to kill cancer cells. This is particularly effective if you have several small tumours that cannot be removed with surgery.

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GI Clinic

The GI Unit is supported by a multidisciplinary team of medical and surgical consultants. Our expert team treats and supports patients with any gastrointestinal conditions.

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Patient information

Our Hospital is renowned for providing exemplary levels of care across more than 90 services. From orthopaedics, to urology, our private GP practice and Urgent Care Clinic, our services are led by some of London’s leading Consultants. For more information, and to find a service suitable for your care, find out more about the services that we offer.

Make an enquiry

If you have any questions relating to treatment options or pricing information, get in touch with us by filling out one of our contact boxes or giving us a call on 020 7078 3802.

Our Appointments Team have a dedicated and caring approach to finding you the earliest appointment possible with the best specialist.

If you are self-paying you don’t need a referral from your GP for a consultation. You can simply refer yourself* and book an appointment.

If you have health insurance (e.g. Bupa, Axa Health, Aviva), you will need to contact your insurer to get authorisation before any treatment, and in most cases you will also require a referral letter from your GP.

If you are not registered with a GP, we have an in-house private GP practice you can use. Alternatively, we can suggest the most appropriate course of action for you to take, given your location and individual circumstances.

*Please note – for investigations such as X-rays and MRIs, a referral will be required. However, we may be able to arrange this for you through our on-site private GP.

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