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Chemoembolization is a way to treat cancer in the liver. It can be used for cancer that starts in the liver. Or it can be used for cancer that has spread (metastasized) to the liver from other parts of the body. The procedure treats only cancer in the liver. It is done by a specially trained doctor called an interventional radiologist.
The hepatic artery is a large blood vessel. It sends blood to the liver. To grow, a liver tumor takes most of its blood from this artery. During the procedure, chemotherapy medicines are put into the hepatic artery. It is then blocked off from the rest of the body. This makes sure the medicines stay in the liver. And it cuts off blood to the tumor.
The goals of chemoembolization
Blocking the tumor’s blood flow so it gets no oxygen or nutrients
Delivering high doses of chemotherapy medicines directly to the tumor site
Keeping chemotherapy medicines in the tumor for long periods of time
Reducing side effects to the rest of the body because the medicines do not leave the liver
Blood clot in a blood vessel
Infection or bruising at the catheter insertion site
Death of normal liver tissue that may result in liver failure
Damage to the gallbladder or other nearby organs
Problems due to the contrast medium such as allergic reaction or kidney damage
Damage to an artery
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