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What You Need To Know About™

Liver Cancer

  • Posted: 04/29/2009

Supportive Care

Liver cancer and its treatment can lead to other health problems. You can have supportive care before, during, and after cancer treatment.

Supportive care is treatment to control pain and other symptoms, to relieve the side effects of therapy, and to help you cope with the feelings that a diagnosis of cancer can bring. You may receive supportive care to prevent or control these problems and to improve your comfort and quality of life during treatment.

You can get information about supportive care at http://www.cancer.gov/cancerinfo/coping on the NCI Web site and from the NCI Cancer Information Service at 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237) or LiveHelp.

 

Pain Control

Liver cancer and its treatment may lead to pain. Your doctor or a specialist in pain control can suggest several ways to relieve or reduce pain:

  • Pain medicine: Medicines often can relieve pain. (These medicines may make people drowsy and constipated, but resting and taking laxatives can help.)
  • Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy can help relieve pain by shrinking the cancer.
  • Nerve block: The doctor may inject alcohol into the area around certain nerves in the abdomen to block the pain.

The health care team may suggest other ways to relieve or reduce pain. For example, massage, acupuncture, or acupressure may be used along with other approaches. Also, you may learn to relieve pain through relaxation techniques such as listening to slow music or breathing slowly and comfortably.

More information about pain control can be found in the NCI booklet Pain Control.

 

Sadness and Other Feelings

It's normal to feel sad, anxious, or confused after a diagnosis of a serious illness. Some people find it helpful to talk about their feelings. See the Sources of Support section.