Hepatocellular Carcinoma


Liver is one of the most robust body organs in human body. Liver is approximately of the size of a footbal and is located in the upper right side of the abdomen. It is responsible for production and excretion of bile, excretion of bilrubin, cholestrol, metabolism of fats, protien, carbohydrates, activitation of enzymes and most importantly storage of glycogen, vitamins and minerals.

Like other body parts liver is also one of the very common site for cancer. Sometimes it is primary cancer of liver, which means that cancer has originated in liver itself. In other cases it can be secondary liver cancer or metastatic liver cancer, which means that it has spread to liver as a advancement of cancer from someother body parts. Hepatocellular carcinoma is one of the most common type of primary liver cancer that is seen in patients getting treated for liver cancer in India.


Following are some of the most common causes of hepatocellular carcinoma:

  • Hepatits B or C
  • Cirrhosis
  • Excessive Alcohol Consumption
  • Obesity & Diabetes
  • Excessive Usage of Steroids
  • Obesity & Diabetes

Symptoms of liver liver cancer are difficult to differentiate from normal liver diseases. reason being it presents it self as any normal gastrointestinal problem unless and untill comprehensively diagnosed. Following are the most common symptoms of hepatocellular carcinoma or primary liver cancer:

  • Pain in upper right part of abdomen
  • Feeling of lump or heaviness in upper abdomen
  • Bloating of stomach and Loss of appetite
  • Unexplained weight loss and Weakness
  • Nausea and vommiting
  • Yellow skin and eyes (Jaundice)
  • Pale or chalk coloured urine and stool
  • Interminent fever


Diagnosis of hepatocelluar carcinoma or primary liver cancer in India is done through multi modalities and methods. However, the best way to start the diagnosis of any disease is to consult the right doctor or surgeon. Our team of liver cancer surgeons is a strong believer in the fact that numbers in the reports are of no use till the time they correlate with the symptoms. For the correct and best diagnosis our team of liver cancer specialists may advise certain blood tests including AFP along with some radiological investigations like Ultrasound, Fibroscan, CT Scan or MRI. Mostly a MRI or CT scan with contrast is the best way to diagnose a liver cancer.


Once it is diagnosed that the patient is having cancer then next step is to do the staging of the cancer. Staging of the cancer is defined as stage 1 to 4. The best tool and the gold standard for staging in India is a whole body PET CT Scan. This is the first step towards the planning of treatment. Diagnosing a hepatocellular carcinoma of liver at early stage would be the best chance that the patient may have to escape with a liver ressection surgery. However, there might be many options that a liver cancer surgeon in India could look for the treatment of liver cancer which ever is in the best interest of the patient.

  • Radiation Therapy – Radiation therapy is used to kill the cancer cells.
  • Chemotherapy– This uses special drugs to kill the cancer cells. It is also used at times to reduce the size of tumour before performing the surgery for the best results.
  • Alcohol Injections – This is done under local anaesthesia and with ultrasound guidance. An injection is given in the tumour to kill the cancer cells.
  • Immunotherapy– This treatment uses drugs that help stimulate your immune system to find and kill cancer cells. 
  • Radiofrequency Ablation & Cryoabltaion – The Liver cancer specialist uses radiofrequency to kill the cancer with heat or with a probe that injects cold gas to kill cancer.
  • Liver Ressection Surgery – The affected part of the liver is removed as a part of the surgery by liver cancer surgeon in India. But this can be done only in case of very early stage where the entire liver has not been affected.
  • Liver Transplant – In case the entire liver has been affected and the cancer has not spread to other organs then liver transplant surgery is performed to replace the affected liver by a healthy liver from a donor.

Cost of Treatment in India

Cost of treatment for liver cancer or hepatocellular carcinoma of liver in India varies depending upon the stage and choice of treatment. The cost of treatment may vary between INR 4,00,000 to 24,00,000 from surgery to liver transplant.