Liver Cancer Survival Rates

Liver cancer survival rates show the chances to survive for a certain period of time for people with cancer. The rates predict chances of what may occur with a patient, if a certain treatment is chosen, based on previous cases with people in a similar condition. Liver cancer survival rates are a guide for the family and the patient to know what to expect while on a particular treatment.

In fact, the liver is the biggest gland responsible for vital functions of the organism, namely for storing nutrients and vitamins, producing proteins necessary for blood clotting, building bile that is needed for digestion, filtering and breaking down harmful toxins.

As a matter of fact there are 2 forms of liver cancer; primary liver starts in the liver tissue and secondary metastasized liver cancer which begins in other organs and spreads to the liver. Cancerous cells spread to the liver easily as it filters blood. Mostly cancer travels from the pancreas, stomach, breast, colon, or lungs.

Like with other cancer types, survival rates are largely dependent on the form and stage and the timely made diagnosis. It determines the most suitable treatment. The TNM classification is often used for the purpose. T describes the tumor size that may range from T1 to T4. If the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes, this is determined by N; M identifies if the disease has affected other organs.

Some experts stage the cancer into:

a) localized resectable- the tumor is located in one place (T1-T2),

b) localized unresectable – the tumor is present in one place however cannot be removed,

c) advanced – the tumor has spread to other organs,

d) recurrent – the cancer is back after treatment.

Unfortunately, liver cancer survival rates are low as the tumor can be undetected for a long time till any signs appear. More than a half of people affected are men; the common age of liver cancer is 60.

The liver cancer survival rates worldwide show that 7% of patients live up to 5 year after diagnosis. If the cancer is removed surgically, 75% of liver cancer patients can live one more year, 30% reach the survival mark of 5 years and 50% – 3 years.

In terms of primary cancer the liver cancer survival rates are quite high provided that a liver transplant can be performed. Liver cancer survival rates reach 5 years in 75% of cases. For metastatic cases liver transplants have a survival rate coming to zero because in some time cancer spreads to other organs. Complete surgical resection at a resectable stage has a higher survival rate compared to a transplant; but, such cases are extremely rare.

To enhance the liver cancer survival rates it is necessary to understand the risks which can make it easier to diagnose the disease at early stages. High risk candidates should have blood tests and ultra sounds on a regular basis to check the level of liver enzyme which can show if the liver is working properly.

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