Prognosis And Survival For Liver Cancer
If you have liver cancer, you may have questions about your prognosis. A prognosis is the doctors best estimate of how cancer will affect someone and how it will respond to treatment. Prognosis and survival depend on many factors. Only a doctor familiar with your medical history, the type and and other features of the cancer, treatments chosen and the response to treatment can put all of this information together with survival statistics to arrive at a prognosis.
A prognostic factor is an aspect of the cancer or a characteristic of the person that the doctor will consider when making a prognosis. A predictive factor influences how a cancer will respond to a certain treatment. Prognostic and predictive factors are often discussed together. They both play a part in deciding on a treatment plan and a prognosis.
The following are prognostic and predictive factors for liver cancer.
Where Do These Numbers Come From
The American Cancer Society relies on information from the SEER* database, maintained by the National Cancer Institute , to provide survival statistics for different types of cancer.
The SEER database tracks 5-year relative survival rates for liver cancer in the United States, based on how far the cancer has spread. The SEER database, however, does not group cancers by AJCC TNM stages . Instead, it groups cancers into localized, regional, and distant stages:
- Localized: There is no sign that the cancer has spread outside of the liver.
- Regional: The cancer has spread outside the liver to nearby structures or lymph nodes.
- Distant: The cancer has spread to distant parts of the body, such as the lungs or bones.
Staging Of Liver Cirrhosis
Prognostic models and staging systems are inevitable for adequate management of patients with liver cirrhosis, especially when it comes to selecting patients for liver transplantation.19 Several classifications and prognostic models have been proposed in recent years of which the three most widely used staging systems are subsequently described briefly.
The Child-Pugh score was initially developed about 50years ago to predict the prognosis after surgery for portal hypertension in patients with liver cirrhosis.20 The original score was slightly modified later on and since then includes the following five variables: grade of encephalopathy and ascites as well as serum bilirubin, albumin and prothrombin time .21 Sometimes prothrombin index or international normalised ratio are used instead of prothrombin time.19 One to three points can be assigned for each variable and according to the sum of these points patients can be divided into three prognostic subgroups: Child-Pugh classes A , B , and C .1921 The 1-year survival rate for the stages A, B and C is approximately 95%, 80% and 44%, respectively .14
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How Can I Prevent Liver Cancer
While you cant completely prevent liver cancer, you can do the following to lower your chances of getting liver cancer:
- Avoid behaviors that lead to cirrhosis.
- Reach or maintain a healthy weight.
- Get a hepatitis B vaccine. This vaccine is safe for nearly everyone. Ask your doctor about the hepatitis A vaccine.
- Avoid hepatitis C.
- If you have any liver disease, have diabetes, obesity or are a heavy drinker, ask your healthcare provider about liver cancer screenings.
Can I Lower My Risk Of Getting A Second Cancer
There are steps you can take to lower your risk and stay as healthy as possible. For example, prostate cancer survivors should do their best to stay away from all tobacco products and tobacco smoke. Smoking can increase the risk of bladder cancer, as well as increase the risk of many other cancers.
To help maintain good health, prostate cancer survivors should also:
- Get to and stay at a healthy weight
- Keep physically active and limit the time you spend sitting or lying down
- Follow a healthy eating pattern that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and limits or avoids red and processed meats, sugary drinks, and highly processed foods
- Not drink alcohol. If you do drink, have no more than 1 drink per day for women or 2 per day for men
These steps may also lower the risk of some other health problems.
See Second Cancers in Adults to learn a lot more about the causes of second cancers.
Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.
Bostrom PJ, Soloway MS. Secondary cancer after radiotherapy for prostate cancer: Should we be more aware of the risk? Eur Urol. 2007 52:973-982.
Moon K, Stukenborg GJ, Keim J, Theodorescu D. Cancer incidence after localized therapy for prostate cancer. Cancer. 2006 107:991-998.
Last Revised: June 9, 2020
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What Is The Life Expectancy Of Liver Cancer
Healthcare providers are making progress on liver cancer treatment so people can live longer. But liver cancer remains a life-threatening disease.
Data show that 35% of people treated for early-stage hepatocellular carcinoma liver are alive five years after diagnosis. About 12% of people treated for HCC that has spread to nearby tissues organs or lymph nodes are alive five years after diagnosis. About 3% of people treated for HCC that has spread further are alive five years after diagnosis.
The five-year survival rates for intrahepatic bile duct cancer are 24% for bile duct that hasnt spread outside of your liver, 9% for cancer thats spread to nearby lymph nodes and 2% for cancer thats spread further.
Treatment For Liver Cancer
Treatment for liver cancer will depend on whether it is a primary or secondary cancer. Treatment also depends on the size of the cancer, whether it is contained in one part of the liver, whether major blood vessels are involved and whether you have cirrhosis. Your doctor will also consider your age, your general health and the options available at your hospital.
You might feel confused or unsure about your treatment options and decisions. Its okay to ask your treatment team to explain the information to you more than once. Its often okay to take some time to think about your decisions.
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How A Multidisciplinary Team Treats Colon And Liver Cancer
A multidisciplinary approach to colon and liver cancer treatment means that youll get an optimized plan based on your individual medical history, tumor type and genes. Several types of cancer specialists work together on your team so you can benefit from their combined expertise.
The center where you have your treatment should have access to multiple types of doctors who communicate regularly, says Dr. Adrian Murphy, instructor of oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. This is extremely important because one type of specialist alone is not able to manage your care. This truly requires collaboration.
There are generally six types of specialists on a multidisciplinary cancer team:
Prognosis And Survival Rates For Liver Cancer
When someone is diagnosed with liver cancer, their doctor will give them a prognosis. A prognosis is the doctors opinion of how likely it is that the cancer will spread, and the chances of getting better. A prognosis depends on the type and stage of cancer, as well as the persons age and general health.
If you have liver cancer, your doctor will talk to you about your individual situation when working out your prognosis. Every persons experience is different and there is support available to you.
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Where Is Liver Cancer More Common
Liver cancer is much more common in countries in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia than in the US. In many of these countries it is the most common type of cancer. More than 800,000 people are diagnosed with this cancer each year throughout the world. Liver cancer is also a leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide, accounting for more than 700,000 deaths each year.
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What Is Stage 4 Bladder Cancer
Being diagnosed with bladder cancer can be overwhelming, especially if its stage 4.
Stage 4 bladder cancer is the most advanced stage and carries the worst prognosis. Many cancer treatments will be both difficult and challenging.
However, treatment can reduce or even eliminate your symptoms and help you live a longer, more comfortable life.
Its important to consider the pros and cons of treating stage 4 bladder cancer because treatments come with side effects and risks.
Symptoms of bladder cancer can include:
- blood or blood clots in your urine
- pain or burning during urination
- frequent urination
- needing to urinate at night
- needing to urinate but not being able to
- lower back pain on one side of the body
These symptoms commonly lead to a diagnosis, but they arent unique to stage 4 bladder cancer.
Stage 4 bladder cancer is also called metastatic bladder cancer. This means the cancer has spread outside of the bladder into other parts of the body.
People with metastatic cancer may experience symptoms relating to where the cancer has spread. For example, if a persons bladder cancer has spread to their lungs, they may experience chest pain or increased coughing.
Metastatic bladder cancer is difficult to cure because it has already traveled to other parts of the body. The later youre diagnosed and the farther the cancer has traveled, the less chance that your cancer will be cured.
The 5-year survival rate is the rate of surviving for 5 years after a cancer diagnosis.
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What Is The Prognosis Of Liver Cancer What Are The Survival Rates For Liver Cancer
The prognosis for liver cancer depends on multiple factors such as the size of the liver cancer, the number of lesions, the presence of spread beyond the liver, the health of the surrounding liver tissue, and the general health of the patient. Life expectancy depends on many factors that impact whether cancer is curable.
The American Cancer Society states the overall 5-year survival rate for all stages of liver cancer is 15%. One of the reasons for this low survival rate is that many people with liver cancer also have other underlying medical conditions such as cirrhosis. However, the 5-year survival rate can vary depending on how much the liver cancer has spread.
If the liver cancer is localized , the 5-year survival rate is 28%. If the liver cancer is regional , the 5-year survival rate is 7%. Once the liver cancer is distant , the survival time is as low as 2 years.
The survival rate can also be affected by the available treatments. Liver cancers that can be surgically removed have an improved 5-year survival rate of over 50%. When caught in the earliest stages, and the liver is transplanted, the 5-year survival rate can be as high as 70%.
Primary liver cancer deaths are usually from liver failure, bleeding, or advanced cancer.
Mesenchymal Cancers Of The Liver
ANGIOSARCOMA OF THE LIVER
Angiosarcoma of the liver is the most common mesenchymal neoplasm of the liver, accounting for 2% of all cases of primary liver cancers.213,214 About 10 to 20 cases are diagnosed in the United States each year.213 Peak incidence of the cancer is in the sixth and seventh decades,215 and it is four times as common in men as in women.5 There is a strong association between ASL with occupational exposures.214 However, 75% of the cases are not associated with any known etiologic factors.215 A 45-fold increase in risk of ASL in seen in patients with exposure to the vinyl chloride monomer .216,217 A review of 20 patients who died from VCM-related ASL showed that the tumor occurred between 9 and 35 years after exposure to VCM.218 The mechanism of VCM-associated ASL appears to be through mutations in ras and p53 genes mediated by the metabolites and adducts of VCM.217 It has also been associated with exposure to arsenic,219,220 thorotrast,221,222 anabolic steroid,215,223 and cyclophosphamide.224 ASL has also been associated with hemochromatosis but not with viral hepatitis.212
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Where Does Prostate Cancer Spread
The most common place for prostate cancer to spread to is the bones. It can also spread to the lymph nodes, liver and lungs and other organs.
A large tumour in the prostate gland can spread into or press on areas around the prostate, such as the back passage or urethra. The urethra is the tube which carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body.
What Affects Survival
Your outlook is affected by the treatment you have.
Treatment decisions depend on the size of the cancer and whether it has spread. It also depends on the health of your liver tissue that is not affected by the cancer, for example if you have liver cirrhosis.
Your general health and fitness also affects survival.
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Types Of Liver Cancer
The main type of primary liver cancer that can affect adults is hepatocellular carcinoma . HCC starts in the hepatocytes, the main type of cell in the liver, and is also known as hepatoma.
HCC is the most common type of primary liver cancer, but there are other less common types:
- cholangiocarcinoma, also known as bile duct cancer, can start in the bile ducts that connect the liver to the bowel and gall bladder
- angiosarcoma is a very rare type of liver cancer that starts in the blood vessels
- hepatoblastoma is a form of liver cancer that affects only young children and is also very rare.
How We Care For You
The symptoms of liver metastases are often vague and hard to identify yourself. If you have any concerns, contact your doctor. Memorial Sloan Kettering has a team of specialists who are very experienced in diagnosing and treating the condition.
- Our goal is to provide treatment options that give you the very best possible quality of life and survival rate.
- MSK surgeons work closely with interventional radiologists in using powerful imaging tests such as CT, ultrasound, or MRI to guide treatments directly to where your tumor is located. We can often destroy tumors with minimally invasive techniques, such as ablation and embolization.
- Through genetic testing of tumors, we learn about the molecular blueprint of your particular cancer and customize a treatment plan for you. Another option is to combine surgery with hepatic arterial chemotherapy, which delivers the drug directly to the liver.
We also offer a range of support programs that can help you and your loved ones manage the challenges and stress of life during and after treatment for liver cancer.
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Potentially Resectable Or Transplantable Cancers
If the patient is healthy enough for surgery, these cancers can be completely removed by surgery or treated with a liver transplant. This would include most stage I and some stage II cancers in the TNM system, in patients who do not have cirrhosis or other serious medical problems. Only a small number of patients with liver cancer have this type of tumor.
I Have Liver Cancer How Do I Take Care Of Myself
Liver cancer and liver cancer treatments take a toll on your body. Some people have liver transplants or surgery to remove part of their liver. Other people may need treatment for as long as they live. Either way, you should plan on regular appointments with your healthcare provider so they can monitor your progress and watch for signs of recurring liver cancer . For example, people who dont have signs of liver cancer after treatment should plan on follow-up imaging and blood tests every three to six months for the first two years after treatment.
If youve been treated for liver cancer, here are some steps you can take that may reduce your risk for recurrent liver cancer:
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Primary liver cancer is a life-threatening illness. Often, people dont know they have liver cancer until the cancer is in an advanced stage, which limits treatment options. When that happens, healthcare providers focus on treatments to relieve symptoms and slow cancer growth while helping you maintain a quality of life. If you have an advanced form of liver cancer, talk to your healthcare provider about your treatment options, including benefits and side effects so you can feel confident about your choices going forward.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 05/09/2022.
Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services.Policy
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Risk Factors For Liver Cancer
There are some things that can make you more likely to develop primary liver cancer. These are called risk factors and they include long-term infection with the hepatitis B or C virus, smoking and liver scarring, known as cirrhosis.
Cirrhosis may develop slowly over months or years. These are some of the things that can cause cirrhosis:
- hepatitis B or C
- type 2 diabetes
- genetic disorders such as iron overload or low levels of a particular protein that can cause tissue in the lungs and liver to break down .
Having these risk factors doesnt mean you will develop primary liver cancer. Sometimes there is no clear reason for getting primary liver cancer. If you are worried about your risk factors, ask your doctor for advice.
Forms Of Prognostic Scoring
Another way to predict overall outcomes for cancers is through prognostic Scoring. The prognosis for small-cell lung cancer can be done through Manchester score.
International Prognostic Index is used for prognosis of a condition like Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. There are also certain other conditions where prognostic indicators are used like Drug mediated Liver Dysfunctions and exercise stress test after myocardial infarction. Prognostic indicators are also used to predict the overall outcome of patients with multiple myeloma.
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