Liver Cancer

Liver cancer can develop in two ways. Primary liver cancer develops when cells in the liver grow out of control and form a cancerous tumor. Metastatic (also called secondary) liver cancer starts somewhere else in the body and then spreads to the liver.

At MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper, our doctors have extensive experience treating liver cancer. We work with you to determine the best treatment plan, guided by compassion and expertise.

Why Choose MD Anderson at Cooper for Liver Cancer Care?

As a partner of MD Anderson Cancer Center, the nation’s top cancer hospital, we offer liver cancer care expertise. You’ll benefit from our:

  • Leading cancer care expertise: We offer the same innovative therapies and treatments available on MD Anderson’s Houston campus. Our gastroenterologists use specialized techniques to diagnose liver cancers as early as possible, when treatments are most effective.
  • Experience: Our expertise comes from treating a large number of liver cancers. Because liver cancer can be more aggressive, this experience means our specialists know which treatments are most effective. You can be confident our doctors are skilled in performing any surgery you might need during cancer treatment.
  • Team approach to treatment: Our specialists work together to coordinate every aspect of your care, meeting weekly. This approach is especially important for liver cancer treatment, as liver cancer tends to be diagnosed in later stages and can be more aggressive than other cancers. Our team’s constant communication provides you with better care.
  • Access to clinical trials: Our involvement in cutting-edge cancer research gives you access to advanced cancer clinical trials as part of your treatment.
  • Enhanced recovery protocols: We use special protocols to help you feel better, sooner after liver cancer surgery. That means fewer hours of fasting before surgery as well as better pain management and less time in bed afterward.
  • Dedicated nurse navigators: Our gastrointestinal cancer nurse navigators serve as advocates for all newly diagnosed patients, seamlessly coordinating all aspects of your care.
  • Full range of support services: We offer support in the form of financial counseling, behavioral medicine, and palliative care services. These extensive care resources help you cope with whatever challenges cancer treatment presents. Learn more about our many cancer care support services.

Liver Cancer Symptoms

People with liver cancer often experience few or no symptoms. As the cancer grows, you may notice one or more of these common symptoms:

  • Pain in the upper abdomen on the right side
  • A lump or a feeling of heaviness in the upper abdomen
  • Swollen abdomen (bloating)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Yellow skin and eyes, pale stools, and dark urine from an accompanying medical condition called jaundice
  • Fever

Liver Cancer Treatment

Treatment for primary liver cancer depends on multiple factors, including:

  • The number, size, and location of tumors in your liver
  • How well your liver is working
  • Whether you have cirrhosis, a complication of liver disease in which the liver doesn’t function properly
  • Whether the cancer has spread outside your liver

Other factors to consider include your age, general health, and concerns about the treatments and their possible side effects. In some cases, you may only require one treatment type. Other times your doctor may recommend a combination of treatments.

At MD Anderson at Cooper, our cancer experts have a broad range of options to treat liver cancer and improve patient outcomes:

We are also experienced in treating metastatic liver cancer. In either case, you can be sure our cancer experts will guide you to the most effective treatment plan for you.

Contact Us

To learn more about liver cancer services available at MD Anderson at Cooper or to schedule an appointment, please call 855.MDA.COOPER.

Refer a Patient

If you are a doctor who wants to refer a patient with liver cancer to MD Anderson at Cooper, please call 855.MDA.COOPER.