Liver Cancer

Liver Cancer

Different types of cancers may grow in the liver and treatment depends on the type and extent of the disease. Legacy's Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Cancer Program provides multidisciplinary expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of liver tumors.

Legacy's team of outstanding specialists will work together to evaluate your case and develop a personalized treatment plan for you. At Legacy we understand that you have a life, not just a diagnosis.

Treatment of metastatic cancer is rapidly evolving. Legacy Cancer Institute specializes in minimally invasive treatments ("interventional"), symptom management and survivorship services. We also offer clinical trials in addition to chemotherapy.

Award-winning care

Legacy ranks among the nation's top cancer programs and has received multiple quality awards including the Outstanding Achievement Award from the American College of Surgeons' Commission (ACS) on Cancer. The ACS ranks Legacy's cancer program as one of the best in the nation.

Types of liver cancer

Primary liver cancer begins in the liver. It may be hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), usually associated with hepatitis infection or liver cirrhosis, or cholangiocarcinoma (CCA), a cancer of the bile ducts.

Secondary or metastatic liver cancer is a cancer that started in another area of the body and has spread to the liver. It may be present at the time of the primary cancer diagnosis or may develop later, during or after treatment.

Interventional treatments

Not all patients are candidates for surgery. For these patients, Legacy offers interventional radiology treatment options. You and your doctor will discuss which treatment is right for you and about the possible short and long-term effects of each treatment. Legacy Cancer Institute recommends a consultation with an interventional radiologist before beginning chemotherapy.

  • RFA (Radiofrequency ablation) -- To destroy selected liver tumors, a probe inserted directly into the tumor creates heat with electrical energy. This can be done through the skin (in the Radiology Department) or as a surgical procedure.
  • TACE (transarterial chemoembolization) -- Chemotherapy is injected into the hepatic (liver) artery that supplies the liver tumor, often in the form of tiny drug-eluting beads.
  • Treatment with Yttrium-90 (Y-90) uses the radioactive isotope Y-90 to deliver radiation directly to a tumor. Thisleading-edge minimally-invasive therapy, usually done as an outpatient, is also called Theraspheres or SIRSpheres. A variety of tests help the doctor decide whether a patient can receive this therapy.


Depending on the type of tumor, particularly those that are metastatic, chemotherapy drugs may be offered. Chemotherapy is provided in collaboration with OHSU Knight medical oncologists, through the OHSU Knight-Legacy Health Cancer Collaborative.

Our doctors

  • Surgeon Chet Hammill, MD specializes in liver cancer, as well as pancreatic and bile duct cancers. He is the medical director of the Legacy Hepatobiliary Cancer Program. 
  • Our interventional radiologists specializing in treating cancer are: Jason Bauer, MD and Andrew Cox, MD.
  • Legacy Cancer Institute partners with medical oncologists from OHSU Knight Cancer Institute at five locations. Find a medical oncologist

Physician case review

Our multidisciplinary cancer care conferences review complex cases to provide an expert "second opinion" on diagnosis, pre-treatment evaluation, staging, treatment strategy and rehabilitation. The team includes medical oncologists, pathologists, radiation oncologists, radiologists, surgeons, nurses, research coordinators and other cancer care staff.

You're not alone

At the Legacy Cancer Institute we offer services to support every aspect of your treatment including your physical, emotional, social and spiritual well-being. We offer a wide range of support services to help you and your family. If you need help just ask us, and we'll help you find the support you need.

Nurse navigators

Our personalized support services begin with our nurse navigators. They will help you throughout your treatment, from knowing what to expect to finding the right support services and helping you manage symptoms and treatment side effects.

Support services

In addition, the following support services are also available: