Your liver converts the food you eat into the fuel your body needs to survive. The liver also clears away harmful substances. Liver cancer happens when cells in this area start growing out of control.
The Cancer Institute offers sophisticated cancer treatments, including robotic surgery and the latest chemotherapy drugs, giving you the best chances for good results.
Symptoms of liver cancer
In the early stages, liver cancer usually doesn’t cause symptoms. As the cancer grows, it interferes with the liver’s ability to do its job, causing symptoms such as:
- Feelings of fullness after eating just a little food
- Abnormal bruising
- A tissue mass under your ribs on the right side, which could mean liver swelling
- Jaundice, which causes yellowing of the skin or eyes
- Changes in chemical messengers (hormones) that can lead to swollen breasts in women and other problems
Liver cancer care at Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute
The Cancer Institute is the region’s only member of the Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) Cancer Alliance. We work alongside some of the world’s leading cancer experts to bring the latest liver cancer treatments close to home. Read more about our membership in the MSK Cancer Alliance. Highlights of our offerings include:
Highly skilled team
Many of the Cancer Institute’s doctors received their medical education from the nation’s top programs. Some of our experts also completed additional training (fellowships) in areas such as surgical oncology and medical oncology. Meet our cancer team.
We are the only cancer center in the region with doctors who specialize in diagnosing gastrointestinal cancers, including liver cancer. These experts (gastrointestinal pathologists) deliver an accurate diagnosis so you can get the care you need as quickly as possible.
Our experience performing a high volume of liver cancer surgeries means we complete procedures in less time so you can go home sooner. And our complication rates are well below national average.
Treatments for liver cancer
At the Cancer Institute, you don’t have to wait to start healing. Our multidisciplinary clinic helps you learn about the cancer treatment options that are right for you. In one visit, you see multiple experts, including a surgical oncologist, radiation oncologist and medical oncologist and have the support of a nurse navigator. Read more about our multidisciplinary cancer clinics. Your care may include:
Cancer drugs (chemotherapy)
We deliver a personalized combination of drugs that halt cancer growth. Our participation in prestigious clinical trial networks gives you access to new chemotherapy drugs that are not widely available. Get more information about chemotherapy.
We consistently deliver effective radiation therapy treatments with an unwavering focus on your safety. Our commitment to high care standards has been consistently recognized with accreditation from the American College of Radiology®.
Selective internal radiation therapy (SIRT) is a treatment approach for primary liver cancer or metastatic colorectal cancer that has spread to the liver. SIR-Spheres® Y-90 resin microspheres are tiny radioactive “beads” used in SIRT, sometimes referred to as Y-90 radioembolization. SIRT treats liver cancer or cancer that has spread to the liver and can't be surgically removed.
TheraSphere® is a liver cancer therapy that consists of millions of small glass microspheres (20 to 30 micrometers in diameter) containing radioactive Y90. The product is injected by a physician into the artery of the patients liver through a catheter, which allows the treatment to be delivered directly to the tumor via the blood flow. Its official indication is for liver tumors that are metatstic from colon cancer.
SBRT or stereotactic body radiation therapy, is another approach, using imaging to help deliver a targeted radiation dose to a tumor with millimeter precision. Find out more about radiation therapy.
The Cancer Institute is home to one of the first surgeons in the country board-certified in complex general surgical oncology. We also use all the latest techniques, including robotic surgery, to remove the cancer while preserving nearby healthy tissue. Find out more about cancer surgery.