The liver is a complex vascular organ which has a crucial role in coordinating nutrition into metabolic function. The liver also filters the blood and as a result it acts as a physical barrier to cancer cells in the blood stream. In Australia, the most common cancer to deposit in the liver is colorectal cancer. The 2nd most common cancer to afflict Australians is colorectal cancer, and most of these patients die because of their liver secondaries. If the cancer secondaries are able to be surgically removed before, they penetrate the liver barrier, up to 70% of selected patients can be cured. Other cancers which can be cured with liver surgery are hepatocellular carcinoma (hepatoma), cholangiocarcinoma (cancer of the bile ducts) and gallbladder cancer.
Port Macquarie is now the definitive specialist liver cancer service in the North Coast Health Service.
Only surgeons with specialist focused training in liver anatomy and surgery are able to perform this surgery safely and successfully in Australia. Dr Petrou is the first high volume liver cancer surgeon, to perform liver surgery outside of a major city in Australia.
Port Macquarie Base Hospital offers state of the art staging with high definition CT and MRI to carefully select patients for liver surgery. We also provide a dedicated multidisciplinary team consisting of specialist medical oncologist, interventional radiologist, intensive care specialists and specialist registered nurses who work together with Dr Petrou in managing these patients. Port Macquarie is now the definitive specialist liver cancer service in the North Coast Area Health Service. This means that patients on the NSW Mid North Coast and North Coast, have access to state of the art life saving treatment and no longer have to travel vast distances, away from their families and loved ones, to access such treatment.