Follow-up care for primary liver cancer

When your treatment finishes, you will have regular check-ups. This may include a physical examination and a blood test. Depending on the treatment you had, you may have regular CT scans to check the tumour has not come back.

If you had a liver transplant, you will have tests to make sure your body is not rejecting the new liver. Your doctor or nurse will tell you what to look out for.

Make sure you give yourself time to recover from your treatment. Pace yourself and ask for help from family and friends.

Because the liver breaks down alcohol, your specialist may advise you not to drink for a period of time after treatment. They may ask you to reduce the amount of alcohol you drink, or to stop drinking completely.

Some people want to make some changes to their lifestyle after cancer treatment. Eating healthily, being active and giving up smoking can all help your recovery. Some people also find that complementary therapies can help too.

After your treatment finishes

After your treatment finishes, you will have regular check-ups. Your specialist will do a physical examination. You will usually also have blood tests. Depending on the treatment you had, you may have regular CT scans to check that the tumour has not come back. After a liver transplant, you also have checks to make sure your body is not rejecting the new liver. Your doctor or nurse will talk to you about what to look out for.

Many people find that they get very anxious before appointments. This is natural. It may help to get support from family and friends.

If you have problems or new symptoms between check-ups, contact your doctor or nurse as soon as possible.


Taking care of yourself

After treatment you are likely to feel very tired and you may still be coping with some side effects. It is important to take care of yourself to allow your body time to recover. Tiredness and feeling weak are also common in people with advanced liver cancer. Make sure you get enough rest and eat well. Ask family and friends to help out so you save energy for the things you want to do.

Tiredness can make it harder to concentrate or to take part fully in what is going on around you. Try to pace yourself. Plan important things for when you are likely to feel less tired and try to rest before.

Look after yourself and take it easy. I still get tired, so I do a little and rest a little. We went on holiday after my treatment – it gave me something to look forward to.

Patricia


Making the most of your health

After treatment, you may want to focus on making the most of your health.

We have more information about keeping healthy and adjusting to life after treatment.

Drinking less alcohol

Because the liver breaks down alcohol, your specialist may advise you not to drink for a period of time after treatment. They may ask you to reduce the amount of alcohol you drink, or to stop drinking completely. Your liver may not be able to cope with alcohol, so ask your specialist doctor or nurse for advice.

Eating well

Try to eat a healthy diet, as this can help you recover. If you do not have much of an appetite, try to eat snacks regularly throughout the day. There are also supplement drinks you can take to get extra energy and nutrients. You can often get these on prescription. Ask your doctor or nurse to refer you to a dietitian if you need more advice.

We have more information on coping with eating difficulties.

Stopping smoking

If you smoke, talk to your doctor for advice on giving up.

We have more information on giving up smoking and tips to help you succeed.

Being active

Regular, short walks can help build up your energy levels. They can also help reduce stress. You can build up what you do as you recover.

Using complementary therapies

Some people use complementary therapies to help them relax. Your hospital or local support group may offer therapies, such as relaxation or massage.

An image of a clinical oncologist talking to a nurse

Watch our healthy eating and cancer video playlist

In these videos, learn more about the link between healthy eating and cancer, and ways to maintain the best possible diet during treatment.

Watch our healthy eating and cancer video playlist

In these videos, learn more about the link between healthy eating and cancer, and ways to maintain the best possible diet during treatment.


Share your experience

Having cancer is a life-changing experience. When treatment finishes, many people find it helps to talk about it and share their thoughts, feelings and advice with other people. This can be especially helpful for other people with primary liver cancer who are about to start their treatment. Hearing about how you have coped, which side effects you had and how you managed them is very helpful to someone in a similar situation.

We have more information about how you can share your story.

Back to Care after treatment

What if cancer comes back?

After your cancer is successfully treated it may still come back. It is often possible to treat cancers that come back.