Providence Liver Cancer Clinic West
Providence Liver Cancer Clinic West
Providence Liver Cancer Clinic, with locations on Portland's east and west side, offers comprehensive, multidisciplinary care for people with liver cancer. Our skilled and experienced medical team makes up one of the highest-volume specialty liver cancer clinics in Oregon. Every year, our team gives hope to hundreds of patients who are living longer and better despite a cancer diagnosis.
Providence Cancer Institute brings patients and families comprehensive cancer services, nationally-renowned research, and compassionate counseling and support. The cancer center’s doctors, nurses, researchers, patient advocates, and other caregivers work together to treat cancer aggressively and to ensure that no person has to face the challenge of a cancer diagnosis alone.
The Providence Liver Cancer Clinic team includes liver surgeons, interventional radiologists, gastroenterologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists and oncology nurse navigators. This team meets every week to review individual patients’ cases and to determine the best approaches to treatment and care.
Liver cancer is potentially curable if diagnosed early. Anyone at high risk for this cancer should be screened by ultrasound every six months.
Persons at high risk include:
- Anyone with cirrhosis from any cause; hepatitis C, hepatitis B, alcohol and fatty liver disease are the most common causes of cirrhosis in the United States.
- Persons of Asian descent with chronic hepatitis B (men aged 40 and over, women aged 50 and over).
- Persons of African descent, aged 20 and over, with chronic hepatitis B.
- Persons of any age with chronic hepatitis B and a family history of liver cancer.
- Contact your primary care provider to discuss screening with ultrasound. Your provider will may refer you to Providence Liver Cancer Clinic if the ultrasound shows a mass in the liver. Your
- primary care provider may refer you to a specialist in gastroenterology if you are found to have hepatitis or cirrhosis.
The liver is the largest internal organ of the human body. It helps metabolize food by producing digestive enzymes and bile, cleans the blood, provides nutrients, assists with blood clotting, and fights infections. The liver can withstand stress and disease remarkably well because of its ability to regenerate after injury. It is the only internal organ which has this capacity.
During the early stages of chronic liver disease, patients often have no symptoms. Later, patients may develop symptoms such as yellowing of the skin (jaundice), easy bleeding and bruising, and excess fluid in the abdomen (ascites) or legs (edema).
Almost all patients who develop liver cancer (also known as hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) or hepatoma) already have chronic liver disease, but many will not have any symptoms. Management of liver cancer requires special expertise because the liver in which it grows is already compromised from chronic disease.
Because of the unique blood supply of liver cancers, they are diagnosed with contrast-enhanced imaging, such as computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Imaging studies also confirm the stage of the cancer: early, intermediate or advanced.
If a patient has no symptoms of cirrhosis and the tumor has not spread, liver cancer can potentially be removed surgically. Depending on the tumor’s location and size, surgeons at Providence Liver Cancer Clinic may be able to use minimally invasive surgical techniques.
- Radiofrequency or microwave ablation
If tumors are small, they may be destroyed by directing a device into the center of the tumor and delivering energy in the form of heat. This treatment can be performed laparoscopically or under imaging guidance.
- Ethanol ablation
If tumors are small and are close to central bile ducts, injection of ethanol may be performed to kill tumor cells without compromising the bile ducts.
- Liver transplantation
Sometimes the best treatment for liver cancer is a liver transplant. The size and number of tumors, the health of the surrounding liver, and the general health of the patient determine whether this is an option. Doctors at Providence Liver Cancer Clinic refer patients to transplant centers for evaluation when appropriate.
Chemoembolization with drug-eluting beads
Interventional radiologists can deliver beads coated with chemotherapy directly into liver tumors. They guide a catheter from the groin into the arteries in the liver, then inject tiny beads to deliver chemotherapy and block the tumor’s blood supply. This treatment can shrink the tumor and prolong the patient’s life.
- Radioembolization with yttrium-90 (Y-90)
Similar in technique to chemoembolization, Y-90 radioembolization is a more advanced catheter-based treatment. Radiation beads are delivered through the liver arteries directly into the tumors.
- Patients with advanced liver cancer can be treated with a medication called sorafenib to help prolong their lives. In addition, new treatments are on the horizon for this cancer that has been resistant to traditional forms of chemotherapy.
- Physicians, scientists and research nurses bring opportunities to find safer, more effective treatments for liver cancer in its early and later stages. A clinical trial may be available to you.
- Our oncology nurse navigators work closely with patients to guide them through the treatment and recovery process. Our staff can introduce patients to the oncology social work team for emotional support and guidance. We can also connect patients with oncology palliative care specialists, who focus on providing physical comfort and emotional support.
Providence Liver Cancer Clinic provides:
- Multidisciplinary conference review of all patients with liver cancer
- Medical, surgical and radiation oncologists
- Interventional radiologists
- Oncology nurse navigators
- Clinical research nurses
- Oncology palliative care practitioners
- Oncology social work services for patients and their families
- Complementary therapies, including naturopathy, acupuncture and massage to relieve symptoms and treatment side effects
- Access to clinical trials through the Earle A. Chiles Research Institute
When you first hear the words “it’s cancer,” the road ahead may seem overwhelming. But from that moment on, Providence Cancer Institute surrounds you with people to help you through the journey. Treating your cancer is not only about treating the disease; it is also about supporting you as a whole person – body, mind and spirit. Here are some of our key support services to help you get through your treatment and emerge as healthy as possible.
- Oncology nurse navigators work directly with your oncologists, surgeons, and care team to help you better understand and follow your treatment plans. The compassionate guidance of nurse navigators has been shown to improve treatment outcomes for patients.
Learn more about nurse navigators.
- Oncology social workers are trained counselors who help patients and families cope with the emotional stresses and practical concerns associated with cancer. Providence cancer patients and their families can benefit from our social work services.
Learn more about what an oncology social worker can do for you.
- Oncology nutrition. Cancer and cancer treatments can affect the way your body tolerates certain foods and uses nutrients. Our registered dietitians specialize in cancer nutrition and are here to help.
Learn more about oncology nutrition.
- Integrative medicine offers an excellent complement to conventional medicine to help patients achieve optimal health. Programs and services include acupuncture, chiropractic medicine, naturopathy, therapeutic massage and more.
Learn more about integrative medicine.
- Palliative care is a type of health care that focuses on improving your physical, emotional and spiritual health while you receive cancer treatment giving special attention to relieving pain and other distressing symptoms.
Learn more about palliative care.
- Cancer rehabilitation combines evidence-based cancer rehabilitation practices with services to address side effects and symptoms. The result is our patients recover their energy, well-being and quality of life more completely and quickly.
Learn more about cancer rehabilitation.
In addition to providing expert cancer care, Providence Cancer Institute provides an extra dimension of care through our many support services and cancer resources.
- Support groups provide education and support for cancer patients and their loved ones. Support groups are led by our professional staff and are offered as a free service to any person with cancer in our community.
- Peer support is offered by trained volunteers who provide one-on-one peer support for patients with cancer and/or their caregivers. It is an opportunity to talk about your fears or concerns with someone who comes from a place of understanding your journey.
Learn more about support groups and peer support.
- The Living Well Guide is designed to provide our patients with one reference for all contact numbers, support services and self-care information.
- The Living Well Through Cancer Treatment and Beyond Video Series will give you information, support and hope. Each video features patients who share their stories and experiences with helpful advice from cancer care experts.
Learn more about Living Well Guide & video series.
Both the Living Well Guide and the video series are available in several languages.
- Financial resources
- Guest housing
- Lending libraries
- Rehabilitation services
- Transportation resources
- Wellness classes
- Screening and prevention
Providence Cancer Institute of Oregon
We're Transforming Cancer Care
The Providence Cancer Institute is the leading provider of cancer care in Oregon committed to making a positive difference in every life we touch. Our patients are at the center of everything we do.