Radiation therapy is the use of X-rays or other high-energy rays to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Radiation comes from a machine outside the body, or external radiation therapy. Radiation can be used alone or in addition to surgery and chemotherapy.
Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy for liver cancer is usually put into the body by inserting a needle into a vein or artery. This type of chemotherapy is called a systemic treatment because the drug enters the bloodstream, travels through the body, and can kill cancer cells outside the liver. In another type of chemotherapy called regional chemotherapy, a small pump containing drugs is placed in the body. The pump puts drugs directly into the blood vessels, called arteries, that go to the tumor.
UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.
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