Ellen J Hagopian, MD, FACS

Liver Disease, Cancer & Tumors Treatment New Jersey

The most common problem seen in the liver is that of a tumor. Tumors can be either malignant (cancerous) or benign (non-cancerous). Malignant tumors include primary (develops in the liver) or metastatic (develops in another organ, then spreads to the liver).  Primary liver cancer (such as, hepatocellular cancer or intrahepatic cholangiocarinoma) is most commonly associated with liver cirrhosis (hard liver), which is typically associated with viral Hepatitis (such as Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C).  Another common cause of liver cirrhosis is excessive alcohol use (see Educational Sheets: Alcohol and Liver Disease and Sensible Drinking). 
Metastatic liver cancer will typically originate from spread from colon and rectal cancer, although may also spread from breast, stomach, esophagus, lung, anus, ovarian, or other cancers.  Benign tumors of the liver include liver cyst, adenoma, hemangioma, and focal nodular hyperplasia.

It is extremely important to determine the type and origin of the tumor as this will strongly influence treatment. Sometimes the type of tumor can be determined without a biopsy. If surgery is recommended, potential treatments include liver resection (removal of a portion of liver) and for selected cases, microwave or radiofrequency ablation (local heat treatment directly into the tumor to destroy it).  A minimally invasive procedure, such as laparoscopic surgery should always be considered.


Primary liver cancer
Alcohol and Liver Disease
Sensible Drinking
Metastatic liver cancer

Informational Sheets: Videos:
Alcohol and Liver Disease Meet Dr Hagopian
Sensible drinking Liver Cancer: Armenian Radio Hour
Gallstones Liver Cancer Prevention
Primary Liver Cancer Liver Cancer Patient Experience
Metastatic Liver Cancer  
Pancreas Cancer  
Gallbladder Cancer  
Bile Duct Cancer