Liver cancers in children


The liver is a large, very important organ situated in the right upper quadrant of abdomen. The normal functions of the liver in the body are:
To help store nutrients from food
To break down and remove harmful chemicals from the body
To build chemicals that the body needs to stay healthy

Hepatoblastoma: The most common type of liver cancer in children is Hepatoblastoma. it occurs most frequently in infants or very young children between 2 months and 2 year.


  • Lump in the abdomen (most common)

  • Reduced appetite

  • lethargy

  • nausia / vomiting

  • Pain in abdomen

  • Jaundice


The following minima investigations are proposed to diagnose hepatoblastoma

  • Tumor markers- serum AFP

  • CT scan of abdomen with Ct guided FNAC or Biopsy

  • X-ray chest

  • Complete blood count

  • Biochem profile


Surgery & chemotherapy are two tratment options

Surgery: Liver resection according to the location & extent of the tumor. It will be either

  • Rt hepatectomy

  • Lt hepatectomy

  • Extended Rt or Lt hepatectomy

  • Bi or trisegmentectomy

If liver resection is not possible because of multicentric disease then liver transplant is the only treatment of option.

Chemotherapy is given before or after surgery. Surgery is done either as a sandwitch surgery (in between cycles of chemotherapy) or it is done at the start & then chemotherapy is given. Antitumor drugs dispersed in a lipid lymphographic medium are intraarterially administered unresectable hepatoblastoma.The more information about intra-arterial chemotherapy can be read in Rare Adult & Pediatric Cancer Web Blog

The drugs used are

  • Cisplatin

  • Doxorubicin

  • Vincristine

  • 5-Fluorouracil

Other less common malignant liver tumor in children:

Hepatocellular carcinoma.


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Eric Benjamin said...

Very nice informative post, has everything you need to know about liver and problems related to it, parents should teach their kids about these things and provide them healthy food, also make them play outside rather than in the house.

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