Liver cancer is divided into two main types:

  • Primary liver cancer, which means cancer that starts in the liver, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, or HCC cancer.
  • Secondary liver cancer, meaning cancer that spreads to the liver from another part of the body.

There are estimated to be more than 2,500 new cases of primary cancer of the liver and 70,000 new cases of secondary cancer of the liver every year in the UK.

Our liver specialist team at the Royal Free Hospital provides a range of liver cancer treatment, such as:

  • resection: removing the part of the liver that is affected by the cancer
  • liver transplant: removing the whole liver and replacing it with a healthy one
  • radiofrequency ablation (RFA): using heat to kill the cancerous cells

We work together with other specialist teams at the Royal Free London to provide you with the best possible care. 

Types of liver cancer we treat

We treat several types of cancer at the Royal Free Hospital that are related to the liver and can be considered liver cancer. As well as those listed above, we treat biliary cancer — also known as bile duct cancer.

This is when a malignant growth carries bile from the liver to the small intestine. It is rare, and most prevalent in people aged 50 to 70. 

The tumour sometimes blocks the bile ducts, which can cause jaundice, clay-coloured stools, itching, loss of appetite, weight loss, fever, chills, or abdominal and back pain. These tumours usually grow slowly and spread gradually. In many cases, bile duct cancer is diagnosed in the advanced stages.

We also treat pancreatic cancer. Cancer of the pancreas is a very serious form of cancer, which is both difficult to detect and to treat.

If your pancreatic cancer cannot be cured, our specialist team at the Sheila Sherlock Liver Centre can provide a range of pancreatic cancer treatments which can help to slow the growth of the tumour, as well as ease any symptoms you may be experiencing.