Leading Liver Cancer Care

Liver cancer is one of the most rapidly growing cancers in the United States.

Primary liver cancer, a type of gastrointestinal cancer, begins in the liver. Metastatic liver cancer starts somewhere else in the body and metastasizes (spreads) to the liver. The liver is a common place where cancer spreads. Its large size and high blood flow make it a prime target for tumor cells moving through the bloodstream.

The main types of primary liver cancer include:

  • Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Often referred to as hepatoma, HCC starts in the main liver cells called hepatocytes. It is the most common liver cancer — about four out of five primary liver cancers are of this type.
  • Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma. Originates in the bile ducts in or outside of the liver. The bile ducts are the small tubes that transport the fluid bile from the liver into the gallbladder and intestines. About 10 percent to 20 percent of all liver cancers are of this type.
  • Hepatoblastoma. Rare liver cancer that is often found in children.
  • Angiosarcoma. Originates in the blood vessels inside the liver.

Several types of noncancerous tumors can also form in the liver. These include hemangiomas, hepatic adenomas, and focal nodular hyperplasia. These tumors do not spread to other parts of the body, but they still can cause problems if they grow large enough.

Learn more about liver cancer causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment.

State-of-the-Art Liver Cancer Treatment

Together with Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, we are the state’s only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, meeting the highest standards in cancer research, treatment, prevention and education in the nation. We offer the most advanced treatment options, including chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapy, and access to clinical trials, many of which are not available elsewhere.

Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey logo National Cancer Institute logo

New Jersey’s Largest Network of Cancer Specialists

We offer access to New Jersey’s largest network of cancer specialists, including nationally and internationally recognized oncologists, surgical oncologists, radiation oncologists, advanced practice nurses and oncology support professionals with advanced credentials in cancer specialty care with expertise in gastrointestinal cancers.

Oncology Nurse Navigators Guide You

Oncology nurse navigators help secure appointments, coordinate follow-up visits related to treatments and procedures, and guide you through aspects of survivorship.

To schedule an appointment with one of New Jersey’s best gastrointestinal cancer specialists, call 844-CANCERNJ or 844-226-2376.

Liver Cancer Causes

Liver cancer occurs when DNA mutations cause liver cells to grow out of control and form a tumor.

Although the exact cause of liver cancer is only partially understood, there are behaviors and conditions (risk factors) that can help physicians determine who is most at risk.

Liver cancer risk factors include:

  • Being overweight or obese
  • Long-term hepatitis B virus or hepatitis C virus infection
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol use
  • Cirrhosis (scarring of the liver often causes by hepatitis and alcohol use)
  • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (extra fat in the liver not caused by alcohol)
  • Diabetes
  • Hemochromatosis (the body takes up and stores excess iron)
  • Eating food that has aflatoxin (a fungus that grows on grains and nuts that have not been stored properly)

Liver Cancer Symptoms

Liver cancer symptoms may not present in the early stages of the disease. As cancer grows and reaches advanced stages, patients may experience liver cancer symptoms, including:

  • Right-sided abdominal discomfort
  • Abdominal swelling
  • A hard lump on the right side of the abdomen just below the rib cage
  • Right shoulder blade or back pain
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes)
  • Bruising or bleeding easily
  • Unusual fatigue
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unexplained weight loss

Patients should make an appointment with their physician if they notice signs of liver cancer.

Liver Cancer Diagnosis

Patients who have or may have liver cancer may undergo one or more tests to receive a diagnosis, including:

  • Ultrasound
  • Computed tomography (CT)
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Angiography
  • Bone scan
  • Laparoscopy
  • Lab tests

Patients may need further testing to better define the type and stage of liver cancer after the initial diagnosis.

Liver Cancer Treatment

Several types of treatments can be used for liver cancer. Liver cancer treatment options depend on the stage of cancer and other factors, which patients go over in great detail with their oncologist and care team.

Commonly prescribed liver cancer treatment options include:

  • Surgery. A partial hepatectomy removes the cancerous part of the liver. A liver transplant replaces the cancerous liver with a healthy new one from a donor.
  • Ablation. Commonly used on small tumors, high-energy radio waves are used to kill cancer cells.
  • Embolization therapy. Substances are injected into the liver’s main artery (hepatic artery) to block blood flow to the tumor in the liver.
  • Radiation therapy. Uses high-energy radiation to kill cancer cells and stop them from returning. External radiation involves radiation from a machine outside of the body. Internal radiation places radioactive substances in the body near cancer.
  • Targeted drug therapy. Drugs target changes in cells that cause cancer. They sometimes work when chemotherapy does not and they may cause different side effects.
  • Immunotherapy. The body's immune system is activated to locate and attack cancer.
  • Chemotherapy. Drugs are used to kill cancer cells or stop them from dividing.

To schedule an appointment with one of New Jersey’s best gastrointestinal cancer specialists, call 844-CANCERNJ or 844-226-2376 .

Patient Stories

  • “Consider stepping outside of your comfort zone and make a stretch gift that is meaningful to you.”

    Rolando “Roly”
    Read More
  • “I realized I can truly get through anything.”

    Annamarie
    Read More
  • “I see myself living a long and happy life."

    Rebecca
    Read More

Patient Stories

  • Watch Testimonial
  • Watch Testimonial
  • Watch Testimonial
Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center
94 Old Short Hills Road
Livingston, NJ 07039
(973) 322-5000
View
Monmouth Medical Center
300 Second Avenue
Long Branch, NJ 07740
(732) 222-5200
View
The Unterberg Children's Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center
300 2nd Avenue
Long Branch, NJ 07740
(732) 923-7250
View
Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus
600 River Avenue
Lakewood, NJ 08701
(732) 363-1900
View
The Jacqueline M. Wilentz Breast Center at Howell
4013 Route 9
Suite 2S
Howell, NJ 07731
(732) 923-7700
View
The Jacqueline M. Wilentz Breast Center at Lakewood
600 River Ave
Lakewood, NJ 08701
(732) 923-7700
View
Medical Specialty Services at Bayonne
16 East 29th Street
Bayonne, NJ 07002
(973) 926-7280
View
The Family Health Center (FHC) at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center
166 Lyons Avenue
Newark, NJ 07112
(973) 926-7300
View
The Jacqueline M. Wilentz Breast Center at Colts Neck
310 Route 34 South
Second Floor
Colts Neck, NJ 07722
(732) 923-7700
View
Clara Maass Medical Center
1 Clara Maass Drive
Belleville, NJ 07109
(973) 450-2000
View
Community Medical Center
99 Highway 37 West
Toms River, NJ 08755
(732) 557-8000
View
Newark Beth Israel Medical Center
201 Lyons Avenue at Osborne Terrace
Newark, NJ 07112
(973) 926-7000
View
Children's Hospital of New Jersey at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center
201 Lyons Avenue at Osborne Terrace
Newark, NJ 07112
(973) 926-7000
View
The Jacqueline M. Wilentz Breast Center at Monmouth Medical Center
300 Second Avenue
Long Branch, NJ 07740
(732) 923-7700
View
Cristie Kerr Women's Health Center
377 Jersey Avenue
Ground Floor, Medical Office Building
Jersey City, NJ 07302
(877) 393-5374
View
Community Medical Center Women's Imaging Center - Toms River
368 Lakehurst Rd
1st Floor
Toms River, NJ 08755
(732) 557-3363
View
Center for Breast Health and Disease Management - Westfield
560 Springfield Ave
Westfield, NJ 07090
(973) 322-7020
View
Barnabas Health Ambulatory Care Center
200 South Orange Avenue
Livingston, NJ 07039
(973) 322-7000
View
Jersey City Medical Center
355 Grand Street
Jersey City, NJ 07302
(201) 915-2000
View
Monmouth Medical Center Outpatient Infusion Center
100 State Route 36 West
West Long Branch, NJ 07764
(732) 222-6046
View
Center for Breast Health and Disease Management - Livingston
200 South Orange Avenue
Suite 102
Livingston, NJ 07039
(973) 322-7020
View
Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
125 Paterson Street
Clinical Academic Building (CAB)
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
(732) 235-6200
View
Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical Group at Monroe
800 Bunn Drive
Suite 303
Princeton, NJ 08540
(609) 655-5178
View
Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical Group
18 Centre Drive
Clinical Academic Building (CAB)
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
(609) 655-5178
View
Cancer Center at RWJ Hamilton
2575 Klockner Road
Hamilton Township, NJ 08690
(609) 631-6960
View
The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children's Hospital at RWJUH
200 Somerset Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
(732) 828-3000
View
RWJ University Hospital Hamilton
1 Hamilton Health Place
Hamilton, NJ 08690
(609) 586-7900
View
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital
1 Robert Wood Johnson Place
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
(732) 828-3000
View
RWJ University Hospital Rahway
865 Stone Street
Rahway, NJ 07065
(732) 381-4200
View
RWJ University Hospital Somerset
110 Rehill Avenue
Somerville, NJ 08876
(908) 685-2200
View
Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey
195 Little Albany St.
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
(732) 235-2465
View
Laurie Proton Therapy Center
141 French Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
(732) 253-3176
View
Jersey City Medical Center Radiation Oncology
631 Grand Street
Jersey City, NJ 07304
(844) 226-2376
View
Madeline Fiadini LoRe Foundation Infusion Center
414 Grand Street
Suite 9
Jersey City, NJ 07302
(201) 915-2735
View
Trinitas Regional Medical Center – Williamson Street Campus
225 Williamson St
Elizabeth, NJ 07202
(908) 994-5000
View

Liver Cancer Treatment & Care

offered at these locations in your neighborhood

View All Locations