Dr Venkat About Colorectal Cancer
Dr Venkat About Colorectal Cancer

Hepatobiliary Cancer Treatment

The hepatobiliary system is comprised of the liver, bile ducts and gallbladder. The hepatobiliary system aids in digestion. The liver is the largest organ in the abdomen and has several essential functions, including detoxification of blood, oxygen storage, metabolism of fats, carbohydrates, etc. The main types of hepatobiliary cancer are hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer), gallbladder cancer, intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma and extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma.

Factors that increase the risk of hepatobiliary cancer:

As with most cancers, it is hard to pinpoint what causes hepatobiliary cancer. Here are some of the factors that increase the risk of hepatobiliary cancer:

  • Liver cirrhosis.
  • Excessive consumption of alcohol.
  • Chronic viral hepatitis.
  • Obesity.
  • A history of gallstones or bile duct stones.
  • Family history of hepatobiliary cancer.
Types of hepatobiliary cancer:

Browse through for more information on the specific types of hepatobiliary cancers we treat:

  • Hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer) - The malignant cancer cells form in the liver. The most common type of liver cancer is hepatocellular carcinoma, which affects the primary type of liver cell. The liver purifies and regulates the chemical levels of the body’s bloodstream, maintains blood sugar levels and helps in blood clotting.
  • Gallbladder cancer - This is a rare type of cancer where malignant cancer cells form in the gall bladder. The gall bladder and bile duct help break down the fat in the food for digestion in the duodenum.
  • Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma - Bile duct cancer is also referred to as cholangiocarcinoma. This type of cancer occurs in the bile ducts that are seen inside the liver. The bile duct produces a fluid called bile that helps break down food in the small intestine.
  • Extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma - This is a rare type of cancer that starts in the bile ducts outside the liver. In this, the malignant cancer cells form in the part of the bile ducts outside the liver.

Hepatobiliary cancer is characterised by the following symptoms:

Hepatocellular carcinoma

Loss of appetite and weight loss.

Severe upper abdominal pain.

Excessive tiredness.

Symptoms of jaundice (yellowing of skin and whites of the eyes).

White, chalky stools.

Nausea and vomiting.

Gall bladder cancer and Cholangiocarcinoma:

Symptoms of jaundice (yellowing of skin and whites of the eyes).

Pale or clay-coloured stools.

Unexplained weight loss.

Excessive tiredness.

Dark brown urine.

Severe abdominal pain.

Night sweats and fever.

It is important to note that these symptoms do not necessarily point to cancer at all times. Please make an appointment with us if you have any of the above symptoms so we can give you a correct diagnosis.

At Veritas Cancer Care, we employ the latest tests to arrive at a suitable prognosis and formulate a specialised treatment plan based on your needs. We have several methods of diagnosis.

Hepatobiliary cancers can be treated with surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy or immunotherapy. While the primary goal is curing cancer, preserving the surrounding organs and tissues is of utmost importance.

The various treatments options for hepatobiliary cancer include:


Surgery is one of the common treatment methods for hepatobiliary cancer. Operating and removing the cancerous mass will ensure the prevention of further metastasis of cancer.


Chemotherapy is the introduction of medicine into the bloodstream to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing. This prevents the proliferation of cancer cells. Our doctors prescribe a chemotherapy regime based on the aggressiveness of your cancer. When chemotherapy is taken by mouth or injected into a vein or muscle, the drugs enter the bloodstream and can kill cancer cells throughout the body.

Radiation therapy

Radiation therapy, or radiotherapy, is a cancer treatment that uses high doses of radiation to destroy the cancer cells by damaging their DNA.

  • External radiation therapy uses a machine outside the body to send radiation toward the area of the body with cancer to keep radiation from damaging nearby healthy tissue.
  • Internal radiation therapy uses a radioactive substance sealed in needles, seeds, wires, or catheters that are placed directly into or near the cancer.

Immunotherapy is the method of stimulating the body’s natural immune system to fight against cancer cells. Substances made by the body or made in a laboratory are used to boost, direct, or restore the body's natural defences against cancer.

Targeted drug therapy

Targeted drug therapy is a type of cancer treatment in which drugs or other substances are used to precisely target and attack the cancerous cells. The difference between targeted drug therapy and chemotherapy is that chemotherapy affects healthy cells as well, whereas targeted drug therapy leaves the healthy cells intact and attacks only the cancerous cells.

Liver Transplant

A liver transplant is a surgical process where the damaged liver of the patient is replaced with a healthy liver from a deceased donor or a portion of a healthy liver from a living donor.


Transarterial chemoembolisation, or TACE, is a procedure in which the blood supply to a tumor is blocked after anticancer drugs are supplied to the blood vessels near the tumor. This allows a higher concentration of the drug to reach the tumor for a longer period of time, which may, in turn, kill more cancer cells. TACE is often used to treat liver cancer.


Transarterial radioembolisation, or TARE, is a procedure in which particles loaded with radioactive compounds are delivered directly into the liver through a catheter. This is done by placing these particles into the artery supplying the liver. Radioactive compounds such as yttrium-90, iodine 131, or rhenium 188 are typically used for these procedures. This is one of the treatment methods for primary and secondary hepatic cancers.

Regaining the quality of life of a patient recovering from hepatobiliary cancer can be challenging. At Veritas Cancer Care, we aim to provide our patients with the utmost care and comfort they need during their treatment and remission and improve their quality of life as much as possible. Our team here is dedicated to our patients and, while cancer is a daunting illness, we provide you with all the help and hope you need to recover.

The oncological team at Veritas Cancer Care is headed by Dr Venkat P, a highly-trained surgical oncologist and robotic surgeon, with niche expertise in treating hepatobiliary malignancies. With over 22 years of experience, he has managed around 25,000 oncological cases and performed over 20,000 surgeries. Being one of the very few surgeons in the country highly trained in the latest treatment procedures such as robotic surgery, ERAS and fluorescence-guided surgery, Dr Venkat is a renowned surgical oncologist with various awards to his credit. At Veritas, we guarantee you will receive prompt care and treatment in his safe and experienced hands.

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