Liver tumors for children are entirely different from adults which is called Hepatoblastoma, while adults has hepatocellular carcinoma. For children, liver is 95% curable with chemotherapy and resection even in late stages, while adult liver tumor result is poor even in early stages.
Usually parents notice abdominal distension and take to doctors, doctors wouldn’t be able to find anything in initial stages, unless liver ultrasound is performed. Some times they seek medical attention for constipation. This tumor secretes a substance called “alpha fetoprotein” which can be measured in blood and confirm the disease.
This ”alpha fetoprotein” helps in monitoring the disease activity and goes down to normal values when the disease is completely cured after getting complete diagnosis. Chemotherapy consists of six cycles in total. Each cycle is 21 days and drugs are given as inpatients for 3 days followed by a gap of 18 days during which the child would be discharged. Liver resection is done after completion of 4 cycles. If the tumor is large or near vital structures such as artery or bile ducts, then liver resection might not be possible and liver transplantation has to be done. Two cycles of chemo would be given after resection or liver transplantation.