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Overview of treatment approaches for hepatocellular carcinoma

Eddie K Abdalla, MD
Keith E Stuart, MD
Section Editors
Kenneth K Tanabe, MD
Richard M Goldberg, MD
Deputy Editor
Diane MF Savarese, MD


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is an aggressive tumor that often occurs in the setting of chronic liver disease and cirrhosis. (See "Epidemiology and etiologic associations of hepatocellular carcinoma".) It is typically diagnosed late in its course, and the median survival following diagnosis is approximately 6 to 20 months [1]. Although the mainstay of therapy is surgical resection, the majority of patients are not eligible because of tumor extent or underlying liver dysfunction.

Several other treatment modalities are available, including:

Liver transplantation

Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) and microwave ablation

Percutaneous ethanol or acetic acid ablation


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Literature review current through: Sep 2016. | This topic last updated: Apr 14, 2016.
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