Liver Cancer

Liver cancer treatments

Thermal ablation

Thermal ablation

Thermal ablation is a method of using heat to destroy cancer cells. It uses an electric current or microwaves to destroy the cancer.

There are two types of thermal ablation for liver cancer:

  • Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) – which uses an electric current to heat tumour cells in the liver and destroy them.
  • Microwave ablation (MWA) – which uses a different type of energy to destroy the liver tumours.

In both types of treatment, probes are inserted through your skin into the tumour. The high heat destroys the cancer cells, without damaging surrounding tissue.

Side effects are usually mild and can include discomfort or mild pain and flu-like symptoms.

These treatments generally work best on small cancers, usually those smaller than 5 cm across. You may be given this treatment several times (CRUK).

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