Each year more than 38,000 people in the UK are diagnosed with bowel cancer, and up to half of those may go on to develop cancer in the liver. This is known as secondary liver cancer, as it first develops elsewhere in the body and then spreads (metastasizes) to the liver.
Liver surgery (or ‘resection’) – where the cancerous parts of the liver are removed surgically – remains the only potential ‘cure’ for secondary liver cancer. Up to approximately 75% of the liver can be removed and will regenerate.
Historically, only a small proportion (around 20%) of patients with secondary liver cancers were operable. Today, in patients who respond to chemotherapy, up to 50% can now undergo surgery. Chemotherapy given before liver surgery (neoadjuvant) is now used to shrink (or ‘down-size’) liver secondaries, rendering some previously inoperable patients operable.
Liver Surgery is a 10 minute film which features secondary liver cancer patient Frank undergoing treatment at Basingstoke Hospital Foundation Trust in the care of Hepatobiliary Director and Consultant Hepatobiliary Surgeon Myrddin Rees.
The film is courtesy of Lynn Faulds Wood, TV presenter and herself a former bowel cancer sufferer, and is part of her Lynn’s Helpful Videos series.