Radiation Therapy for Liver Cancer

This information is useful for adults
A couple comforts one another as one is about to undergo radiation therapy for liver cancer.
Why Yale Medicine?
  • We have extensive experience and proven expertise in SBRT, a special form of high-dose radiation.
  • Treatment plans are developed by a multidisciplinary team of specialists, all focused on identifying the best possible treatment for each patient.
  • We offer the full range of treatment options for patients with liver cancer.

Liver cancer can often be silent, with no noticeable symptoms. It occurs when abnormal cells form and multiply within the liver, an organ situated behind the rib cage in the upper right section of the abdomen. The liver performs many critical functions: it filters and detoxifies the blood, produces bile and enzymes that aid digestion, manufactures essential proteins and regulates cholesterol and hormone levels. At Yale Medicine, we offer specialized treatment for all types and stages of liver cancer.

There are two main types of liver cancer: primary and secondary.

Primary liver cancer starts in the liver. About 80 percent of primary liver cancers begin in liver cells called hepatocytes and are called hepatocellular carcinomas or malignant hepatomas. A rarer form of primary liver cancer is bile duct cancer, which starts in tubes inside the liver that carry bile to the gallbladder.

Secondary liver cancer, which in the United States is the more common of the two, is cancer that has spread to the liver from elsewhere in the body. For example, this cancer could have originated in the esophagus, colon, pancreas, breasts or lungs.

Clinical Trials

New treatments for many conditions are tested in clinical trials, which ultimately bring lifesaving new drugs and devices to the patients who need them most. By participating in a clinical trial, you may get access to the most advanced treatments for your condition, and help determine their benefits for future patients.