What Is The Best Medicine For Liver Metastases?

The tests to diagnose liver metastases are the following: CT or MR (Magnetic Resonance), liver function tests, liver ultrasound and liver biopsy.

What Is The Best Medicine For Liver Metastases?

What Is The Best Medicine For Liver Metastases?

There are many options for the treatment. Surgery is rarely done to remove liver cancer.

Generally, the surgery is only indicated for patients with certain types of cancer (for example, large intestine and rectum cancer) and when the number of tumors in the liver is limited. In most cases, the cancer that has spread to the liver is incurable, being in the terminal phase.


Chemotherapy is a treatment based on anti-cancer drugs that circulate throughout the body and destroy cancer cells. Chemotherapy can help reduce liver metastases and their symptoms. It is the preferred treatment for advanced cancer. Chemotherapy is used for liver metastases if primary cancer may respond favorably to treatment (eg, breast cancer and colorectal cancer), it is not possible to remove all liver metastases by surgery, there are numerous metastases in the liver, the person cannot undergo an intervention and when cancer has spread to other organs besides the liver.

Chemotherapy has several side effects, including vomiting and hair loss.


Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays to destroy cancer cells. Radiation therapy is not often used to treat liver metastases because healthy liver tissue does not tolerate radiation.

The type of radiation used for liver metastases is external. Radiation therapy is mainly used to control the growth of liver metastases and alleviate symptoms such as pain to improve the quality of life of the patient.

Radiofrequency Ablation

Radiofrequency ablation uses a high-frequency electrical current to destroy cancer cells. Ablation can be performed to control inoperable liver metastases.

It is usually only used for small tumors (smaller than 5 cm). Radiofrequency ablation is sometimes done along with surgery.

The procedure involves the passage of an electrical current in the liver metastasis through a thin probe that is inserted through the skin and can be guided by an ultrasound or a CT scan.

The probe is inserted into the liver and several very fine needles penetrate the tumor mass. The needles are connected to two electrodes that transmit electrical current to heat the tumor tissue and destroy the cells.

A cell can withstand temperatures above 43-44 ° C for 20-25 minutes. After this period, necrosis (tissue degeneration due to cell death) occurs. The ablation can also be carried out by means of laser waves or microwaves.


Cryosurgery destroys the cells or tumor tissue by freezing. Cryosurgery applies liquid or extremely cold gases in contact with the tissues of the liver through a special metal probe. Cryosurgery can be used to control liver metastases that cannot be removed surgically, multiple metastases and metastasis in both lobes of the liver.

Ablation by Ethyl Alcohol

Ablation by ethyl alcohol is a procedure in which ethanol is injected directly into the liver tumor through the skin (percutaneous injection). Alcohol kills cancer cells and causes tumor shrinkage.


Chemoembolization is done by injecting a chemotherapy drug into an artery. Often, the drug is mixed with an oily liquid (eg: lipiodol) or Gelfoam (absorbable gelatin sponge or powder used to control bleeding).

A catheter is inserted into a large artery in the arm or leg. The catheter is inserted into the main artery that carries blood to the liver (hepatic artery).

The mixture is injected through the character and stops most of the blood flow to the liver.

In this way, the tumor is deprived of the oxygen and nutrients needed to grow. Surgery to remove the tumor can be done traditionally and openly or as a mini-invasive laparoscopic operation.


Prognosis and life expectancy depend on the original position of the cancer.

Generally, patients with liver metastases die from this cancer. However, treatment can help reduce tumors, improve life expectancy and relieve symptoms. Although there are many therapeutic weapons, there is none that outperforms the others, each option offers risks/benefits and have its own indications.

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:May 20, 2019

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