Treatments for stage A liver cancer

The following are treatment options for stage A liver cancer. Your healthcare team will suggest treatments based on your needs and work with you to develop a treatment plan.


You may be offered a liver transplant if the cancer has not spread to the blood vessels in the liver.

Ablation therapy

You may be offered one of the following ablation therapies for stage A liver cancer.

Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) uses electrical currents to create heat to destroy cancer cells. You may be offered RFA if you are not healthy enough to have a liver transplant.

Microwave ablation (MWA) uses electromagnetic waves to create heat and destroy cancer cells.

Percutaneous ethanol injection (PEI) is a treatment that injects concentrated ethanol alcohol through a needle into a liver tumour. PEI may be offered if RFA and MWA are not possible because the tumours are near large blood vessels.

Other treatments

If surgery and ablation therapy are not possible, you may be offered the following treatments.

Transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) is a treatment that blocks the blood supply to a liver tumour and delivers chemotherapy directly to the tumour.

Transarterial radioembolization (TARE) is a treatment that blocks the blood supply to a liver tumour and delivers radiation directly to the tumour.

Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) is a type of radiation therapy that delivers very focused beams of high-dose radiation to liver tumours.

Clinical trials

Talk to your doctor about clinical trials open to people with liver cancer in Canada. Clinical trials look at new ways to prevent, find and treat cancer. Find out more about clinical trials.

Expert review and references