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The growth of cancer cells in the liver is referred to as liver cancer. Men are at increased risk to the disease as compared to women.

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Symptoms of liver cancer

  • Inexplicable loss of weight
  • Nausea
  • Enlargement of the liver
  • Upper abdomen pain
  • Marked change or loss of appetite
  • Wear and tear of the muscles
  • Accumulation of fluid in the abdomen as well as inflammation in the abdominal area
  • Increased fatigue
  • Unexpected cases of fever
  • Presence of chalky, white tools
  • Vomiting
  • Jaundice-yellowish nature of the skin as well as the whites of the eyes

Causes of liver cancer

  • The exact causes of liver cancer are unknown. However, chronic infection with certain hepatitis viruses is known to cause liver cancer
  • The presence of certain liver diseases, diabetes, excessive consumption of alcohol, accumulation of fat in the liver and obesity can increase the risk to the development of liver cancer

Treatment of liver cancer

There are several ways to treat liver cancer. Some include:

  • Surgery to remove the cancer tumors from the liver
  • A liver transplant wherein the entire liver is removed and a new liver from a healthy donor is transplanted
  • Cryotherapy which uses extreme cold to destroy the cancer cells
  • Radiation therapy that uses extreme rays of precision radiation to kill the cancer cells
  • Chemotherapy that intravenously administers cancer killing drugs

Survival rate for liver cancer

Some patients of liver cancer may want to known the survival rate of liver cancer patients so as to get the best possible treatment option, while others may not want to know them to avoid psychological problems.

The prognosis of liver cancer is dependent on the survival rate of the patients. The five year survival rates for the patients indicate that percentage of individuals who live for at least five years after the diagnosis of liver cancer. It is often used as a relative survival rate in comparison to those without the cancer. All survival-rates data is based on the outcome of patients who have been treated for liver cancer. However, this is just a rough estimate and cannot be universally applied to all individuals as each liver cancer case is unique in itself. Moreover, with the advances in medical science the survival rates in liver cancer patients are improving with every decade.

Liver cancer is categorized as, localized wherein only one or two tumors can be found in any lobe of the liver (includes stage I and certain stage II cancers); regional liver cancer refers to cancer which has spread to the other lobe and to nearby lymph nodes (includes certain stage II, all stage III, and stage IVA cancers) and distant liver cancer refers to the stage IVB, wherein the cancer has spread to other tissues and has metastasized.

Stage 5-year Relative Survival Rate
Localized 27%
Regional 9%
Distant 4%

Liver cancer five year relative survival rate across all stages is around five percent. Those who have successfully removed the cancerous tumors have an increased survival rate of nearly fifty percent. Patients who have treated early stage cancers with a liver transplant have a sixty to seventy percent five year survival rate.

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