The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Hepatocellular Carcinoma


Hepatocellular carcinoma is a primary liver cancer. It is associated with chronic liver diseases such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C and fatty liver disease amongst others, and most patients, although not all, will have cirrhosis of the liver. The diagnosis can often be made by CT or MRI scanning, although repeat scanning or a biopsy is sometimes required. The treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma depends on both the size, site and number of tumours within the liver and the underlying liver function. Treatments include liver surgery, liver transplantation, ablation therapies, chemotherapy based treatments and palliative care with symptom control.

The Leeds Liver Unit offers a comprehensive service for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma and advises on appropriate treatments.

It is important that a thorough assessment of underlying liver function is made in order to make the most appropriate and safest recommendation. The clinical team working in this service therefore comprises liver surgeons and liver physicians (hepatologists) working closely in collaboration with specialist radiologists, pathologists and oncologists. Our unit also participates in clinical trial programmes for liver cancer and if patients are suitable for clinical trials this is discussed with them. The hepatobiliary cancer nurse specialist team assists with patient communication and assessment and the multidisciplinary meeting administrative staff liaise with referring hospitals to obtain relevant results and scans.