Ablation treatments in liver cancers
What is liver cancer?
Liver cancer is a type of cancer that occurs as a result of abnormal growth of liver cells. The liver is a large organ that performs many important functions in our body. The liver regulates the body's metabolic functions, cleans toxins and supports digestion. Liver cancer is one of the most common types of cancer worldwide. Depending on the type of cancer, the symptoms of liver cancer can vary. Some patients experience no symptoms, while others may experience symptoms such as abdominal pain, weight loss, fatigue, and loss of appetite. Causes of liver cancer include factors such as chronic hepatitis B or C infection, alcohol consumption, cirrhosis, and obesity. Also, some genetic factors can increase the risk of liver cancer.
What are liver cancers?
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC): This is the most common type of liver cancer and is often associated with cirrhosis. It originates from liver cells and the most common symptoms include abdominal pain, weight loss, nausea and vomiting.
Cholangiocarcinoma: This type of cancer originates from the bile ducts and constitutes 10-20% of liver cancers. Symptoms of cholangiocarcinoma include abdominal pain, jaundice, loss of appetite and weight loss.
Liver angiomyolipoma: This type of cancer is rare and usually occurs in pregnant women. Although benign, it can sometimes turn into cancer.
Liver sarcomas: Liver sarcomas are rare cancers that arise from the connective tissue or blood vessels of the liver. Symptoms include abdominal pain, loss of appetite and weight loss.
Liver metastases: Another type of cancer, especially colon cancer, breast cancer, and lung cancer, if it spreads to the liver, this can cause liver metastases. Liver metastases are the most common cause of liver cancer.
What are the causes of liver cancers?
Although the causes of liver cancer are not clearly known, some risk factors may include:
Chronic viral hepatitis: Chronic hepatitis B and C infections increase the risk of liver cancer.
Alcohol use: Excessive alcohol consumption can increase the risk of liver cancer by causing liver damage.
Obesity: Obesity can increase the risk of liver cancer by causing fatty liver disease.
Diabetes: Diabetes can increase the risk of liver cancer.
Family history: People with family members with liver cancer have an increased risk of liver cancer.
Pollution: Some chemicals, especially arsenic, aflatoxins and other toxic substances, can increase the risk of liver cancer.
Liver disease: People with chronic liver disease have a higher risk of liver cancer.
Age: Liver cancer is more common in people over the age of 50.
Male gender: Liver cancer is more common in men.
These risk factors are just a few of the factors that increase the risk of liver cancer. However, although it is not possible to definitively prevent liver cancer, avoiding risk factors and adopting a healthy lifestyle can reduce the risk of liver cancer.
What are the symptoms of liver cancer?
Liver cancer is usually asymptomatic in its early stages and is often discovered by chance as a result of a test. However, the following symptoms may occur in the future:
Abdominal pain: Liver cancer can cause pain in the abdomen.
Loss of appetite: Liver cancer can reduce appetite and cause weight loss.
Nausea and vomiting: Liver cancer can cause nausea and vomiting.
Fatigue and weakness: Liver cancer can cause fatigue and weakness.
Jaundice: Liver cancer can cause blockage of the bile ducts, which can cause yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes, called jaundice.
Liver swelling: Liver cancer can cause swelling in the liver.
Leg and foot swelling: Liver cancer can cause increased pressure in the liver, causing swelling in the legs and feet.
Fever: Liver cancer can cause fever.
These are some common symptoms seen in people with liver cancer. However, these symptoms can also be related to many other health problems. When you suspect liver cancer, it would be best to consult a doctor.
What are the chances of surviving a person with liver cancer?
The chances of surviving liver cancer depend on many factors. Factors such as the stage of liver cancer, the person's general health, treatment options, and response to treatment can affect a person's chances of survival. Liver cancer is a more treatable type of cancer if detected early. When caught in the early stages, treatments such as surgery or transplantation can stop the progression of the disease or completely eliminate the cancer. However, liver cancer is often not diagnosed at an early stage and is diagnosed at a later stage. Treatment options for liver cancer may include surgical procedures, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, ablation therapy, transarterial chemotherapy embolization, radioembolization, and chemotherapy treatments. The effectiveness of these treatments depends on the stage and type of cancer, and the person's state of health. Liver cancer treatment is a complex process and results can vary from person to person. However, with the right treatment approach and early detection, many people with liver cancer have a better chance of survival.
If liver cancer is diagnosed, is there a cure?
Once liver cancer is diagnosed, there are treatment options. Treatment options depend on the type of cancer, its size, stage, and overall health. Treatment methods may include:
Surgery: In the early stages of liver cancer, surgery may be done to remove the cancerous area. This surgery may involve removing part of the liver or removing it completely.
Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy involves using drugs to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy treatment may be used for some types of liver cancer.
Ablation: Ablation involves killing cancer cells using high-energy sound waves, radiofrequency, or microwave energy to kill cancerous cells.
Transarterial chemoembolization (TACE): TACE involves administering drugs that block the vessels to stop the growth of cancerous cells. Transarterial embolization (TAE) or transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) is a method frequently used in the treatment of liver cancer. In this method, drugs are injected into the blood vessels that feed the cancerous cells and these vessels are blocked. During the TAE procedure, a catheter (a long, thin tube) is directed from the inguinal region or arm vein to the liver artery (the main blood-supplied artery of the liver). This vein is given microspheres that will carry drugs that can be injected using x-ray imaging methods. The microspheres block the blood vessels, preventing the cancer cells from feeding and causing the death of the cancer cells. TACE is a similar process to TAE, but in addition to drugs, microspheres containing high doses of radiation are also used to kill cancer cells. These microspheres also prevent the feeding of cancer cells and cause the death of cancer cells. Transarterial embolization or chemoembolization is a less invasive method than surgical intervention and is usually applied to patients who are not suitable for surgery or who are too weak to perform surgery.
Transarterial radioembolization (TARE): It is a minimally invasive procedure used for the treatment of liver cancer. In this method, radioactive microspheres are injected into the blood vessels where the cancerous cells are fed. During the TARE procedure, a catheter (a long, thin tube) is guided through the groin area or arm vein into the liver artery (the main blood-supplied artery of the liver). This vein is given radioactive microspheres to prevent the feeding of cancer cells. While these microspheres cause the death of cancer cells by blocking blood vessels, they also kill cancer cells by targeting them directly, thanks to the radioactive substances inside the cancerous cells. Because TARE is a procedure that relies on radiation therapy, it can take several weeks or months for cancerous cells to die. However, damage to other healthy tissues is minimal during the TARE procedure, which is one of the advantages of the TARE procedure. TARE is applied to patients who are not suitable for surgery or who are too weak to perform surgery. TARE can also be used to treat cancers where other treatment modalities have failed or recurring.
Chemosaturation: It is a treatment method used in some types of cancer, such as liver cancer. In this method, a high dose of chemotherapy drug is given to the area where the cancerous cells are located, by isolating the liver with the help of balloons and catheters. Chemosaturation involves administering drugs directly to areas of the liver that are supplied by blood vessels. During this procedure, drugs are usually delivered using a catheter (a long, thin tube) into the liver artery. This ensures that the drugs only reach the area that targets the cancer cells and causes less damage to healthy tissues. Chemosaturation directly targets and kills cancer cells, thanks to the high-dose delivery of the chemotherapy drug. Also, administering drugs directly to cancer cells carries less risk of side effects than other chemotherapy methods. Chemosaturation is generally applied to patients who are unsuitable for surgery or who are too weak to perform surgery. The effectiveness of treatment depends on the type of cancer, the extent of its spread, and the general health of the patient.
AVAS-LIOX TREATMENT: The aim of this treatment is to deliver a very high dose of chemotherapy drug to cancerous cells without damaging other organs of the body. The mission of AVAS is to be implanted in a patient to provide repeatable and easy access to the patient's arteries. This allows clinicians to isolate a cancerous organ from the rest of the body. Once isolated, the clinician can treat that organ with high concentrations of anti-cancer agents, such as chemotherapy. The LIOX technique consists of placing the patient's axillary artery access system, facilitating simultaneous multi-catheter access to the patient's intestinal vascular system. Through the access system, balloon catheters are inserted into the patient's intestinal veins and the balloon is inflated, indirectly preventing portal feeding of the liver. Next, another balloon catheter is routed to the appropriate left/right branch or segmental artery of the hepatic artery for oxaliplatin infusion. On average, patients receive five to six treatments with three catheters for three procedures over a 1-month period.
Irreversible electroporation (IRE): It is a minimally invasive procedure used in the treatment of liver cancer. This procedure uses high-voltage electrical currents to punch microscopic holes in the membranes of cancer cells and cause the cells to die. During IRE treatment, a needle is inserted to pinpoint the liver cancer tumor using imaging modalities such as ultrasound or computed tomography. Next, electrodes are placed around the tumor and high-voltage electrical currents are sent. IRE therapy is different from other cancer treatments because it doesn't use heat or radiation to kill cancer cells. Instead, it punctures the membranes of the cells, causing cell death. IRE therapy is advantageous over other treatment options as it is less invasive than other minimally invasive procedures and preserves liver function. However, as IRE is still a new treatment, more research is needed on its effectiveness.
Targeted therapy: Targeted therapy involves using drugs that inhibit the growth and division of cancer cells.
Radiotherapy: Radiotherapy involves using high-energy rays to kill cancerous cells. Radiotherapy treatment can be used for some types of liver cancer.
The choice of methods used in the treatment of liver cancer depends on the patient's condition, the stage of the cancer, and his state of health. Early detection can provide more options for liver cancer treatment and increase the chances of success.
Are ablation treatments safe and effective in liver cancers?
Ablation treatments for liver cancers are generally safe and effective. However, the effectiveness of treatment may depend on factors such as the size, location, type of tumor, and the patient's general state of health. Ablation therapy may be an option when some patients are unsuitable for surgery or are opposed to surgery.
What are the advantages of ablation treatments in liver cancers?
Minimally invasive: Ablation treatments are non-surgical minimally invasive procedures. Therefore, it is less invasive and carries less risk of postoperative complications compared to open surgery.
High success rate: Ablation treatments have a high success rate, especially in early stage liver cancers. Success rates may vary depending on the nature of the treatment and the type and size of the cancer.
Short stay: Ablation treatments usually require a short stay. This can help patients return to their normal activities more quickly after treatment.
Can be applied repeatedly: Ablation treatments can be applied repeatedly as needed. This allows treatment to be repeated if the patient does not respond to treatment or if the cancer recurs.
Fewer side effects: Ablation treatments may cause fewer side effects compared to other cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy or radiation treatments. This may aid faster recovery after treatment.
Prevents cancer cells from spreading: Ablation treatments can prevent cancer cells from spreading further. This can help control the disease more easily by preventing the cancer from spreading to other organs.
Ablation treatments may be a viable treatment option for liver cancers. However, the effectiveness of treatment depends on the patient's particular situation, and doctors consider many factors before deciding whether treatment is the most appropriate option.
How are ablation treatments performed in liver cancers?
Ablation treatments are performed under the guidance of imaging methods such as computed tomography and ultrasound, by inserting a needle through the skin into the relevant organ, such as the liver, and targeting the cancer tissue. They can also be called as a kind of needle burning or freezing treatments.
Radiofrequency ablation (RFA): Radiofrequency ablation uses high temperature to destroy cancer cells. In this method, the exact location of cancer cells is determined using ultrasound or other imaging techniques, and cancer cells are reached using a needle or electrode. The electrode heats and destroys cancer cells by sending a high-frequency electrical current.
Microwave ablation (MWA): Microwave ablation also uses high temperature but uses microwave energy instead of electricity. In this method, microwave energy is sent using an antenna focused on cancer cells and the cancer cells are heated and destroyed.
Cryoablation: Cryoablation is used to destroy cancer cells using low temperature. In this method, the exact location of cancer cells is determined and cancer cells are reached using a needle.
In which situations can ablation treatments be the first choice in liver cancers?
In patients with cancers less than 2 cm in good general condition who are not candidates for liver transplantation
In patients with good general condition, liver transplantation suitable and not possible, tumors of 3 or less and less than 3 cm in diameter
Ablation treatments may be the first choice in patients who are not suitable for surgery, have increased portal pressure or bilirubin values, and have a single tumor with a diameter of less than 3 cm.
What are the risks and complications of ablation therapy in liver cancers?
Ablation methods are generally safe and effective in the treatment of liver cancer, but as with any medical procedure, ablation therapy has some risks and potential complications. The following are potential risks and complications that may occur after ablation therapy:
Pain: Pain in the abdomen after the ablation procedure is normal and usually subsides within a few days. However, some patients may have more severe pain and may need painkillers.
Bleeding: Bleeding may occur after the ablation procedure. This is usually mild and stops on its own, but severe bleeding may require intervention.
Infection: There is a risk of infection after the ablation procedure. For this reason, antibiotics can be used during the procedure and the doctor should be contacted immediately when signs of infection are seen after the procedure.
Burn: During the ablation procedure, there is a risk of damage to nearby tissues. Therefore, intensive monitoring should be done during the procedure to ensure that the tissues are adequately cooled.
Bile duct damage: The ablation process can cause damage to the biliary tract, which can lead to bile leakage. In this case, additional intervention may be required.
Pulmonary membrane damage: Rarely, in the treatment of liver cancer, damage to the pleura may occur and symptoms such as shortness of breath may occur. In this case, additional treatment may be required.
Neighboring tissue, organ, vessel and nerve injuries.
It is important to note that the risks that may occur after the ablation procedure are usually mild and most of them can be treated. However, it is important to contact your doctor immediately in case of any symptoms or any side effects you are concerned about.
What should I pay attention to after ablation treatments in liver cancer?
In the treatment of liver cancer, there are some points to be considered during and after the healing process after ablation methods. The following suggestions can help with this process:
Pain: Pain in the abdomen after the ablation procedure is normal and usually subsides within a few days. However, you may need pain relievers. Your doctor will prescribe the pain reliever that is suitable for you.
Rest: It is important to rest after the procedure. You can reduce fatigue by resting for a few days after the procedure.
Wound care: Post-procedure wound care is important. To speed up the healing process and reduce the risk of infection, you must ensure that the wound surface remains dry and clean.
Nutrition: After the procedure, you should follow a healthy and balanced diet program to accelerate the healing process. In addition, it may be recommended to consume liquid foods for the first few days after the procedure.
Exercise: Doing light exercises after the procedure can speed up the healing process. However, you should avoid excessive exercise and follow your doctor's recommended exercise program.
Follow-up: You must follow the follow-up appointments recommended by your doctor after the procedure. These follow-ups are necessary to monitor your recovery process after the procedure.
After the ablation procedure, you should contact your doctor immediately in case of any symptoms or side effects you are worried about.e needle uses a freezing gas to freeze and destroy cancer cells.
What are the opinions and recommendations of patients who have undergone ablation therapy for liver cancer?
Each patient's treatment process and experience is different, and the opinions of patients who have ablation therapy may also differ. However, patients who usually undergo ablation therapy can offer advice on:
Early diagnosis is important: In a disease such as liver cancer, early diagnosis is important in determining treatment options and the course of the disease. Therefore, it is important to have regular medical checkups and routine screening tests.
Although ablation therapy is an invasive procedure, it may be less risky than other treatment options. The recovery period after treatment may vary depending on the stage of the disease and the patient's health status.
Ablation therapy helps destroy cancer cells while sparing healthy tissue. Therefore, it is considered a less invasive and less complicated option than surgical intervention.
After ablation treatment, it is important to follow the doctor's recommended monitoring and follow-up plan. These follow-ups can help monitor the effectiveness of treatment and determine the risk of disease recurrence.
Ablation therapy can be used in conjunction with other cancer treatment options. Therefore, it is important that you follow the treatment plan recommended by your doctor.
Patients receiving ablation therapy for liver cancer often have high satisfaction rates. Because this treatment has a high success rate and is less invasive than surgical treatment, most patients are satisfied with the treatment. However, since each patient's situation is different, it is important to keep in touch with the doctor before and after ablation therapy to increase the success rate of the treatment and reduce the risk of complications.
As a result, the opinions and recommendations of patients with ablation therapy can focus on the importance of early diagnosis of the disease, the effectiveness of the treatment, and regular follow-up and follow-up for the follow-up of the disease. In addition, ablation therapy is an option that can be used in conjunction with other treatment options, so it's important to follow your doctor's recommendations.