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Liver cancer treatment at GenesisCare

We’re specialists in the latest techniques for diagnosing and treating all types of cancer, including liver cancer. We have teams of highly trained cancer specialists who are experts in this disease. They work together to evaluate the newest, evidence-based approaches so we can offer these to every patient – without delay.

Chapter 1

Treatment overview

Liver cancer treatment may include surgery, ablation, embolisation, targeted therapy, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, along with specialists in diet if needed. We combine this with consultant-led integrative care, such as wellbeing therapies and exercise medicine, to help you achieve the best possible outcome. Our qualified physiotherapists and wellbeing consultants will carefully plan these therapies tailored to your needs by working with you and your consultant.

Liver cancer can develop anywhere in your liver. There are several types of liver cancer, but the most common forms are hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), which starts in the hepatocyte cells, and cholangiocarcinoma, which starts in the bile ducts. According to Cancer Research UK, there are around 6,100 new cases of liver cancer in the UK each year-- early diagnosis and treatment can improve the likelihood of a positive outcome.

We’re the UK’s leading specialist private cancer care provider. By choosing us, you can be reassured that your treatment will be managed by a team of specialists working together, with you, to decide the best, personalised care plan for your diagnosis.

It is our commitment to offer world-class care to every patient with cancer.

This page is about primary liver cancer, where cancer starts in your liver. If you want to read about treatments for secondary liver cancer, where cancer has spread from elsewhere in your body to your liver, you can read more here.

How is primary liver cancer treated?

There are a number of options of treatment available for liver cancer, such as:

  • Stereotactic radiotherapy – high-energy radiation beams which are targeted at the cancer cells
  • Surgery or ablation – removal of part of the liver or a liver transplant, or destroying the tumour with heat
  • Chemotherapy – drugs that slow the growth of the cancer cells
  • Targeted therapy – a specialised group of drugs that attack or block certain processes in the cancer cells
  • Immunotherapy – drugs that stimulate the body’s immune response to attack the cancer
  • Embolisation – treating blood vessels to reduce the blood supply to the cancer whilst also injecting either chemotherapy or radioactive particles

At GenesisCare, we offer surgery, ablation, targeted therapy, immunotherapy, chemotherapy and stereotactic radiotherapy.

Contact us

These web pages provide more information about liver cancer treatment at GenesisCare. If you’d like to contact us in confidence, we will be happy to answer any of your questions.
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Chapter 2


How is liver cancer diagnosed?

At GenesisCare we diagnose and treat a wide range of cancers, and we understand that this can be a very worrying time. Our diagnostic services are world-class, and our commitment is to give you the answers you need, as quickly as possible. It’s important to remember that symptoms can often be caused by other conditions and not always liver cancer. But, whatever your diagnosis, we can make sure you get the expert care you need and without delay.

If you’re concerned about liver cancer symptoms, we offer specialist liver cancer tests and diagnostics in our centres. Here you’ll see one of our expert consultants who specialise in cancers affecting the liver. They’ll assess your symptoms and, if necessary, refer you for diagnostic tests such as biopsy, blood tests or imaging scans (including ultrasound, CT and MRI). You may also need to see one of our specialist dietitians.

Liver cancer symptoms

Liver cancers don’t always cause symptoms in the early stages of the condition, so you may not experience any symptoms until it has become more advanced. The most common symptoms of liver cancer include:

  • Unexpected weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Feeling full after eating small amounts
  • Jaundice – yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes
  • Itchy skin
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Swelling or pain in the abdomen
  • A lump in the abdomen

These symptoms may be caused by other benign conditions and having one or more of the signs above doesn’t mean you have liver cancer. If you’re concerned about liver cancer, you should talk to your GP, and they can refer you to a specialist if they think it’s needed, or you can book directly with us.

Chapter 3


Surgery is a key treatment for liver cancers and forms part of an overall treatment and care plan for liver cancers.

Our consultants include expert surgeons who work in local and nationally renowned hospitals and will work together with other cancer specialists to decide the best course of treatment for you. If your consultant recommends liver cancer surgery, this can be arranged conveniently at one of our partner hospitals. You can then continue your other treatments at GenesisCare.

There are different procedures for liver cancer surgery, and your surgeon will recommend the most appropriate technique depending on the size of your cancer, number of tumours, the health of your liver, and whether cancer has grown into nearby blood vessels or not.


Ablation uses radio waves or microwaves to destroy the tumour. It may be an option for treating some liver cancers and you may be suitable for ablation if you have few small tumours and you’re not fit for surgery. The procedure involves a probe being inserted through the skin into the tumour by an interventional radiologist and often requires an anaesthetic and an overnight stay in hospital.


Arterial embolisation can be used for patients with liver cancer who are not candidates for surgery or ablation. Embolisation therapy uses tiny particles to block the flow of blood to tumours through the artery feeding them. This destroys the cancer cells by starving them of oxygen and nutrients.

Surgery side effects

No treatment is without side effects. Your doctor will explain these to you, together with the ways your treatment plan and supportive care can help to manage or minimise these.

Chapter 4

Drug treatments

At GenesisCare, we offer all drug therapies that can be used to treat and manage liver cancer, including many of the newest treatments. Depending on how these treatments are given to you, you may need to attend one of our private chemotherapy suites which are staffed by our specialist nurses. Our compassionate nursing teams are available 24/7 on a dedicated on-call telephone service and can answer any queries during your treatment. They’ll be able to provide advice about side effects or symptoms and help arrange appropriate medical care when needed.

Our centres have all received the Macmillan Quality Environment Mark to reflect the quality of care we provide for people living with cancer.

There are different types of drug treatments, also called systemic anti-cancer therapies. Our expert teams continually review and assess new treatments to make these available to GenesisCare patients as early as possible.

Targeted therapy for liver cancer

Targeted (also called biological) therapies are a specialised group of drugs that have been designed to attack or block specific processes in cancer cells that tumours depend on to survive and grow. Cancer growth blockers are the main type of targeted therapy available for liver cancer treatment at GenesisCare. They work by blocking the signals that encourage the cancer cells to grow, and stop the tumour growing blood vessels (this reduces the oxygen supply cancer needs to grow).

Chemotherapy for liver cancer

Chemotherapy uses intravenous cytotoxic (anti-cancer) drugs to destroy cancer cells. Chemotherapy is commonly used to treat cholangiocarcinoma, which arises in the bile ducts within the liver, but is not usually used to treat hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).


Immunotherapy is the collective name given to a group of medicines that use your immune system to attack cancer cells. These drugs do not directly affect cancer but instead help your body’s immune system recognise and fight cancer. Immunotherapy drugs are often combined with targeted drugs in the treatment of some forms of liver cancer. Immunotherapy harnesses the body’s defences to fight off the cancer.


Personalised medicine

For some advanced cancers, we use specialist tests, such as liquid biopsy or genomic testing, to understand the genetic make-up of cancer cells. This helps us to identify which drugs are available to work against the particular genetic mutations in a cancer, allowing us to start effective treatment without delay.

There may also be opportunities to access clinical trials for the newest treatments for ­­­­liver cancer.

Drug treatment side effects

No treatment is without side effects. Your doctor will explain these to you depending on your drug treatment, together with how your treatment plan and supportive care can help to manage or minimise these.

Chapter 5


Radiotherapy uses targeted, high-energy radiation beams to destroy cancer cells. Radiotherapy can often be very effective in treating liver cancer, particularly when other techniques such as ablation and embolization have failed or are not suitable.

At GenesisCare, we are the leading private provider of radiotherapy in the UK and offer world-class expertise and state-of-the-art facilities that specialise in advanced radiotherapy techniques. Our latest-generation radiotherapy machines (called linacs) deliver highly targeted radiation beams that are designed to be effective while minimising the radiation dose to healthy tissues.

Your treatment will be governed by our expert multidisciplinary teams (MDTs), consisting of oncologists, radiotherapists and dietitians, who work together to ensure that you only receive the best possible care.

Radiotherapy techniques for liver cancer

Stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR) is a high-precision form of radiotherapy that allows large doses of radiation to be accurately delivered to a target while keeping the surrounding areas within a much lower dose. SABR has emerged as an excellent treatment for liver cancers in recent years.

At GenesisCare, we have the UK’s first MRIdian MR linac machine, which delivers MRI-guided SABR. MRI-guided SABR uses magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with live images to see exactly where a tumour is at the same time as treating it. This next-generation technology automatically shuts off the radiation beam when the tumour moves out of the target area, for example, due to breathing. This means SABR can be delivered effectively yet safely by avoiding the healthy liver tissue and organs surrounding the tumours. For liver cancers, this provides an alternative to surgery and other treatments which may not be suitable for some patients.

Find out more about MRIdian for liver cancer.

We also offer palliative VMAT radiotherapy for those living with advanced liver cancer, where it has spread elsewhere in the body, to improve pain and increase mobility. We understand that fast access to palliative care is paramount and can usually provide treatment within 48 hours of a planning imaging scan.

Side effects of radiotherapy

No treatment is without side effects. Your doctor will explain these to you at the start of your course of radiotherapy, together with the ways your treatment plan and integrative care can help to manage or minimise these.

Contact us

You can read more detail about our radiotherapy treatments below. If you’d like to find out more about your treatment options, contact us today for advice or to book an appointment.
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Advanced radiotherapy
Chapter 6

Integrative care

At GenesisCare, we do more than just treat your cancer. As part of our unique and integrative approach to cancer care, you can expect the best possible care and a personalised treatment plan that includes access to life-changing therapies which are proven to improve cancer-related outcomes. These therapies will be tailored to you to help you manage and cope with your cancer as well as the specific side effects of treatment.

Exercise medicine

Exercise medicine is a personalised programme of carefully planned and supported physical activity that has been shown to improve outcomes for cancer patients, enhancing the quality of life and limiting the impact of cancer, such as improving strength and reducing fatigue. One of our physiotherapists specialising in exercise for people living with cancer will provide a 12-week programme tailored to your needs and supported by our dedicated GenesisCare Exercise Medicine app. They’ll work closely with you to monitor changes in your health and support you throughout the programme to help you get the best results. This is available at selected GenesisCare centres.


We also offer a wellbeing expert and holistic therapies such as counselling, acupuncture, massage and reflexology through our unique partnership with the Penny Brohn UK charity. This service is available to all ­­­­­liver cancer patients at any of our 14 UK centres.

Hacer ejercicio durante el cáncer
Chapter 7

Why choose us?

GenesisCare is a leading private provider of cancer care, offering the latest innovations and techniques that are proven to be safe and effective. If you choose us for liver cancer treatment you will be under the care of a team of experts, including consultant oncologists and surgeons. They will design a personalised care plan based around your diagnosis and preferences, with treatment starting within days if needed. Every patient is also supported through their journey with life-changing therapies, such as exercise medicine and counselling.

Our dedicated cancer centres are convenient and easy to access. You can use your private medical insurance, and we’re recognised by all leading insurers.

Throughout COVID-19, our priority is to continue providing the very best cancer care with meticulous measures in place to ensure our patients receive the treatments they need safely and without delay. You can find out more about our COVID-19 safety measures here.

We are proud that so many patients rate our care as excellent as we help them through their cancer journey. Find out more about the unique experiences of people who have had their cancer diagnosis or treatment at GenesisCare in our patient stories section.

Book an appointment

Contact us today to book an appointment or speak to a member of our experienced and compassionate team about private cancer care and how we can help you.
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