Supportive care for liver cancer
Supportive care helps people meet the physical, practical, emotional and spiritual challenges of liver cancer. It is an important part of cancer care. There are many programs and services available to help meet the needs and improve the quality of life of people living with cancer and their loved ones, especially after treatment has ended.
Recovering from liver cancer and adjusting to life after treatment is different for each person, depending on the stage of the cancer, the type of treatment and many other factors. The end of cancer treatment may bring mixed emotions. Even though treatment has ended, there may be other issues to deal with, such as coping with long-term side effects. A person who has been treated for liver cancer may have the following concerns.
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Most people have advanced liver cancer when they are diagnosed. Advanced cancer means that cancer is unlikely to be cured. Treatment is focused on relieving symptoms, controlling the cancer and improving quality of life.
People with liver cancer are often in poor health because their liver no longer works properly. Talk to your healthcare team about ways to manage the following symptoms:
- pain, which can get worse with advanced cancer and may be difficult to manage in the late stages of the disease
- fluid in the abdomen (ascites)
- nausea and vomiting
- loss of appetite
Find out more about choosing care and treatment for advanced cancer.
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Kumar M, Panda D . Role of supportive care for terminal stage hepatocellular carcinoma. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hepatology. 2014.
Sherman M, Burak K, Maroun J, Metrakos P, Knox JJ, Myers RP, Guindi M, et al . Multidisciplinary Canadian consensus recommendations for the management and treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma. Current Oncology. 2011: http://www.current-oncology.com/index.php/oncology/article/view/952/737.