Primary hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) (Liver cell carcinoma) is the commonest malignancy of the liver; it results from the malignant lesion of hepatocytes and it is usually due to HBV or HCV infection or alcoholic hepatopathy. HCC is the fifth most frequent type of cancer in the world and the third cause of death among cancer patients internationally. HCC is often discovered by chance during radiological examinations or check-ups.
The growth of hepatocellular carcinoma is directly associated with cirrhosis of the liver and serious damage to hepatic function. Patients might visit the doctor because of abdominal pain, ascites, hepatomegaly, splenomegaly, weight loss, loss of appetite or debility; they may also seek medical help due to upper digestive tract bleeding, usually caused by rupture of the tumour, when its size has increased.
Hepatocellular carcinoma chemoembolisation is an alternative method of treating the disease, when surgical resection is not possible. The treatment offers patients good quality of life and life expectancy, often comparable or exceeding those achieved by other methods. The final prognosis is affected by parameters such as the burden on the liver function or the extent of the tumour.
Our experience in chemoembolisation of hepatocellular carcinoma in the last 10 years includes more than 800 interventional procedures. Our centre receives patients from the whole of Greece and the Balkans, and our results are recognised internationally and often exceed those of similar centres in other countries.