Alan’s story: TACE therapy

I was feeling more tired than usual but I put that down to the heart attack and the recovery period afterwards.

Alan from South Wales was diagnosed with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in 2020. He says:

“I’m coming up to 70 years old and have had liver disease for 25 years. I also have Type 2 diabetes.

“At first I was told the liver disease was alcohol-related, but later my medical team decided it was probably non-alcohol related fatty liver disease.

“I’d been attending a six-monthly liver clinic and having regular fibroscans, but then I had a heart attack and missed a few liver appointments while I concentrated on recovering from heart failure.

“I was feeling more tired than usual but I put that down to the heart attack and the recovery period afterwards. In late 2019 I was sent for an ultrasound to check my liver. The scan took longer than usual and I was told that I’d need a CAT scan because they’d picked up a few abnormalities.

“The CAT scan didn’t pick up the abnormalities, so I was booked in for an MRI after Christmas. The MRI showed I have hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) - liver cancer. I was in shock for a few days after that.

“Unfortunately, I was rejected for a liver transplant at University Hospital Birmingham due to my heart condition. That was really disappointing, but I understand why.

“I've now had TACE (Transarterial Chemoembolization) therapy in Cardiff and am waiting for the results. I had to self-isolate for two weeks beforehand due to coronavirus. Now my wife and I are starting to self-isolate again as the restrictions get tighter but we're still getting out to walk the dog."

Back to stories