Where Does Liver Cancer Spread


Palliative And Supportive Care

Liver cancer in 4 minutes!

Palliative and supportive care focuses on symptom control and support. Its an extremely important part of the care and treatment for many people living with secondary breast cancer and can significantly improve quality of life for them and their families.

People often associate palliative care with end-of-life treatment. However, many people value having it at any stage of their illness, alongside their medical treatment, to help prevent and relieve symptoms such as pain or fatigue. It can also help with the emotional, social and spiritual effects of secondary breast cancer.

The palliative and support care teams are based in hospitals, hospices and the community. You can be referred by your treatment team, GP or breast care nurse depending on your situation.

First Line Treatment For Advanced Prostate Cancer

The established first line approach is to control the progression of the disease by reducing levels of testosterone in the body. This is because testosterone increases the speed at which prostate cancer cells reproduce.

There are two different ways to lower testosterone levels. Hormone therapy lowers the levels of testosterone in the body by taking tablets or having injections. It is sometimes referred to as medical castration. The surgical option involves removing the testicles, known as surgical castration or orchidectomy, although this is now rarely used.

Another approach is called anti-androgen treatment. Androgens have to bind to a protein in the cell called an androgen receptor to work. Anti-androgens are drugs that bind to these receptors so the androgens cant, effectively blocking them. The main side-effects are gynaecomastia breast enlargement and breast pain, although a single radiotherapy dose to the breasts can help this side-effect.

Combining anti-androgens with testosterone reduction is known as Maximum Androgen Blockade and may be used if hormone treatment alone is not working sufficiently.

Treating with chemotherapy at the same time as the start of hormone deprivation was found to increase survival by 13 months in all patients and 17 months in men with high-volume disease.

Also Check: Radiation For Metastatic Prostate Cancer

What About Other Treatments I Hear About

When you have cancer you might hear about other ways to treat the cancer or treat your symptoms. These treatments may be vitamins, herbs, special diets, and other things. You may want to know more about them.

Some of these are known to help, but many have not been tested. Some have been shown not to help. A few have even been found to be harmful. Talk to your doctor about anything youre thinking about using, whether its a vitamin, a diet, or anything else.

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Symptoms Of Metastatic Cancer

Metastatic cancer does not always cause symptoms. When symptoms do occur, what they are like and how often you have them will depend on the size and location of the metastatic tumors. Some common signs of metastatic cancer include:

  • pain and fractures, when cancer has spread to the bone
  • headache, seizures, or dizziness, when cancer has spread to the brain
  • shortness of breath, when cancer has spread to the lung
  • jaundice or swelling in the belly, when cancer has spread to the liver

Ablation For Liver Cancer

Department of Surgery

Ablation is a treatment that destroys small liver tumors without taking them out. There are a number of ways to do this, such as heating the tumor with radio waves or microwaves, freezing the tumor, or killing the tumor by putting alcohol in it. Talk to the doctor about the planned treatment and what you can expect.

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How Is Liver Cancer Treated

The treatment of liver cancer depends on the stage and type of liver cancer. The most common treatment options include:

  • Surgery: This option may be useful in removing part of the liver affected by cancer. Complications of surgery include bleeding, infection, or pneumonia.
  • Liver transplant: This involves replacing the cancerous cells with healthy liver cells from a donor. Rejection of the liver transplant is the major complication of this method.
  • Ablation therapy: This procedure involves using heat or laser to destroy the cancerous cells.
  • Embolization: This technique uses a catheter to inject particles or beads into the blood vessels supplying the cancer cells to block it. This kills the cancerous cells.
  • Radiation therapy:Radiation of high frequency destroys the cancerous cells.
  • Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy uses medications to kill cancerous cells.

Exercise And Secondary Breast Cancer In The Liver

Some people with secondary breast cancer in the liver have no symptoms while others have a combination of pain, sickness, loss of appetite, hiccups, tiredness and fatigue. While physical activity may help reduce some symptoms its important to listen to your body and not push yourself too hard. Gentle, regular activity, such as walking, is often most effective.

If youre currently having treatment you may need to exercise at a slightly lower level. Stop straight away if it hurts or feels like youre working too hard.

When choosing your exercise, try to focus on aerobic activities such as walking, swimming or cycling. Activities such as dancing and gardening can also be beneficial. You could also include some light toning or conditioning exercises such as stretching or low-impact yoga. The most important thing is to choose something you can safely enjoy.

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Uncertainty Of Liver Findings Is Common

It is important to note that abnormal findings are quite common when scans are done of the liver, and sometimes it can be hard to determine if a spot or spots on the liver are due to the spread of cancer or another cause. If your healthcare provider is uncertain whether or not an abnormality in your liver is related to your cancer, and the treatment approach would vary depending upon the results, he or she may recommend a liver biopsy in order to look at the tissue to be certain of your diagnosis.

It can be frustrating if your healthcare provider is uncertain about findings in your liver, and this can make you feel anxious and unsure of your care. It may be helpful to know that this is common and that there is a lot of overlap between “normal” abnormalities in the liver and liver metastases.

How Do Healthcare Providers Diagnose Liver Cancer

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Your healthcare provider may suspect you have liver cancer if they find liver cancer signs and symptoms during your physical examination. They may order the following tests to learn more:

  • Blood tests:Healthcare providers may do blood tests for cancer, such as a liver function test, to check on liver enzymes, proteins and other substances that show whether your liver is healthy or damaged. They may test for alfa-fetoprotein . High AFP levels may indicate liver cancer.
  • Ultrasound : This test provides pictures of your soft tissue structures. Healthcare providers use ultrasound to look for liver tumors.
  • Computed tomography scan: This special type of X-ray takes detailed images of your liver, providing information about liver tumor size and location.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging : This test produces very clear images of your body using a large magnet, radio waves and a computer.
  • Angiogram: This test helps healthcare providers examine your livers blood vessels. During this test, your healthcare provider injects dye into an artery so they can track blood vessel activity and look for blockages.
  • Biopsy: Healthcare providers remove liver tissue to look for signs of cancer. Biopsies are the most reliable way to confirm a liver cancer diagnosis.

Your healthcare provider may do the following tests if they think you may have IHC:

What are liver cancer stages?

Hepatocellular carcinoma stages include the following:

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How Long Do You Have To Live If You Have Stomach Cancer

Of all those with stomach cancer, about: 42 out of 100 people will live for at least 1 year after diagnosis. 19 out of 100 people will live for at least 5 years after diagnosis. 15 out of every 100 people will live for at least 10 years after diagnosis.

Questions To Ask The Doctor

  • What treatment do you think is best for me?
  • Whats the goal of this treatment? Do you think it could cure the cancer?
  • Will treatment include surgery? If so, who will do the surgery?
  • What will the surgery be like?
  • Will I need other types of treatment, too? Whats the goal of these treatments?
  • What side effects could I have from these treatments?
  • What can I do about side effects that I might have?
  • Is there a clinical trial that might be right for me?
  • What about special vitamins or diets that friends tell me about? How will I know if they are safe?
  • How soon do I need to start treatment?
  • What should I do to be ready for treatment?
  • Is there anything I can do to help the treatment work better?
  • Whats the next step?

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Tests That Might Be Done

If signs are pointing to liver cancer, more tests may be done. Here are some of the tests you may need:

Ultrasound: For this test, a small wand is moved around on your skin. It gives off sound waves and picks up the echoes as they bounce off tissues. The echoes are made into a picture on a computer screen. This test is often the first test used to look at the liver.

CT or CAT scan: This scan uses x-rays to make detailed pictures of your body. It can show the size, shape, and place of any tumors in or near the liver.

MRI: This scan uses radio waves and strong magnets instead of x-rays to make detailed pictures. MRI scans can help tell if tumors in the liver are cancer. They can also be used to look at blood vessels in and around the liver. They can help find out if liver cancer has spread.

Lab tests: Blood tests can check a protein called AFP . AFP is often very high in people with liver cancer. Other blood tests can also help find out how well the liver is working.

Liver biopsy: In a biopsy, the doctor takes out a small piece of tissue where the cancer seems to be. The tissue is checked for cancer.

There are many types of biopsies. Ask your doctor what kind you will need. Each type has risks and benefits. The choice of which type to use depends on your own case.

Sometimes MRI or CT scans clearly show liver cancer and a biopsy isnt needed.

How Is Prostate Cancer Diagnosed

Liver Cancer  Gallbladder Cancer  Bile Duct Cancer

Doctors describe the growth and spread of prostate cancer in stages. Doctors use these stages as guides when choosing treatment options or offering prognoses to their patients.

Prostate cancer staging is based on a number of different factors, including prostate cancer screening tests such as a digital rectal exam or prostate-specific antigen test and imaging studies like bones scans, MRIs, CT scans, and trans-rectal ultrasounds.

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Support For Living With Secondary Breast Cancer In The Liver

Everyones experience of being diagnosed with secondary breast cancer is different, and people cope in their own way.

For many people, uncertainty can be the hardest part of living with secondary breast cancer.

You may find it helpful to talk to someone else whos had a diagnosis of secondary breast cancer.

  • Chat to other people living with secondary breast cancer on our online Forum.
  • Meet other women with a secondary diagnosis and get information and support at a Living with Secondary Breast Cancer meet-up.
  • Live Chat is a weekly private chat room where you can talk about whatevers on your mind.

You can also call Breast Cancer Nows Helpline free on 0808 800 6000.

What Are Prostate Cancer Survival Rates By Stage

Staging evaluation is essential for the planning of treatment for prostate cancer.

  • A basic staging evaluation includes the patient examination, blood tests, and the prostate biopsy including ultrasound images of the prostate.
  • Further testing and calculations may be performed to best estimate a patientâs prognosis and help the doctor and patient decide upon treatment options.

Prognosis refers to the likelihood that the cancer can be cured by treatment, and what the patientâs life expectancy is likely to be as a consequence of having had a prostate cancer diagnosis.

If a cancer is cured, your life expectancy is what it would have been had you never been diagnosed with prostate cancer. If the cancer cannot be cured due to it recurring in distant locations as metastases, or recurs either locally or in an area no longer able to be treated in a curative manner, then estimates can be made of what is likely to be your survival based again on group statistics for people who have been in the same situation.

Nomograms are charts or computer-based tools that use complex math from analysis of many patientsâ treatment results.

The prognosis for prostate cancer varies widely, and depends on many factors, including the age and health of the patient, the stage of the tumor when it was diagnosed, the aggressiveness of the tumor, and the cancerâs responsiveness to treatment, among other factors.

Also Check: Reduce Risk Of Prostate Cancer

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How Does Liver Cancer Spread

The cells in our bodies have a regulated system of growth and division. New cells are formed to replace older cells as they die. Occasional DNA damage results in abnormal cell production. But our immune system does a pretty good job of keeping them under control. Its a system that serves us well.

Cancer cells dont follow these regulations. Part of their abnormality is that they continue to reproduce even though old cells arent dying off.

This uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells is what forms a tumor. And because they keep reproducing, they can metastasize locally and to distant sites.

Liver cancer, like other types of cancer, can spread in three ways.

  • the circulatory system. Cancer cells get into the bloodstream, which carries them throughout the body. Anywhere along the way, they can establish new tumors and continue to grow and spread.

No matter where your metastatic tumors form, its still liver cancer and will be treated as such.

There are no routine screening tests for liver cancer. Because it doesnt always cause signs or symptoms in the early stages, liver tumors can grow rather large before being discovered.

Liver cancer is staged using the TNM system:

  • T indicates the size of the primary tumor.
  • N describes lymph node involvement.
  • M represents if and how far the cancer has metastasized.

When it comes to treatment, doctors sometimes classify liver cancer based on whether it can be surgically removed:

Is Liver Cancer A Common Disease

Does Liver Cancer Spread Quickly

No, its not common, but liver cancer cases are steadily increasing. Healthcare providers estimate about 1% of all men and women in the United States will be diagnosed with a form of liver cancer during their lifetime.

There are three kinds of primary liver cancer:

  • Hepatocellular carcinoma : This is the most common form of liver cancer, representing nearly all liver cancer cases.
  • Intrahepatic cancer : This is a form of cholangiocarcinoma. IHC is cancer in your livers bile ducts. It represents about 10% to 20% of all primary liver cancer cases.
  • Angiosarcoma: This type is very rare, representing about 1% of all primary liver cancer cases. This cancer begins in the lining of blood cells in your liver.

Overall, HCC and IHC represent about 2% of all new estimated cancer cases in the United States, and 5% of all new cancer deaths. Healthcare providers often diagnose and treat HCC and IHC the same way.

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What Are Liver Metastases

Liver metastases are cancerous lesions or tumors that have spread to the liver from a primary cancer elsewhere in the body. These tumors sometimes called secondary liver cancer are not really liver cancer at all. The cells of these liver metastases are not liver cells, but resemble the cancer cells of the primary tumor, such as neuroendocrine tumors , melanoma or cancers that began in the lung or breast. Because the liver receives all the blood return from the organs within the abdomen, it is a common site for metastatic disease from cancers originating in the gastrointestinal tract, such as the stomach, pancreas, bile duct and colon.

Patients with liver metastases can still be cured of their disease. Successful treatment demands specialized skills by surgeons with advanced training and focus in liver surgery and experienced medical oncology and interventional radiology teams working together. At Roswell Park, we do this every day.Boris Kuvshinoff, MD, MBA, FACS, Chief Medical Officer and surgical oncologist

Metastatic Cancer Survival Rate

The liver cancer prognosis depends on several factors, including the stages of cancer and the treatments administered to the patient. A doctor best predicts a cases survival rate.

However, a study with one of the most common metastatic liver cancers from the colon indicated that if treatments are not provided for a diagnosed patient, the life expectancy is less than eight months. Additionally, although treatments are administered, the five-year survival rate is low, with 11% as the maximum prognosis.

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Types Of Liver Cancer

Doctors classify liver cancers into two categories:

  • Primary liver cancers are tumors that develop directly from liver tissue.
  • Secondary, or metastatic, liver cancers are tumors that start in another part of the body, such as the colon, then spread to the liver.

The most common primary liver cancers include:

  • Hepatocellular carcinoma: This cancer commonly coincides with liver disease and is related to:
  • Chronic alcohol use
  • Chronic hepatitis
  • A diet high in fatty foods
  • Gallbladder carcinoma: Found in gallbladder tissue, this cancer often causes no obvious symptoms until advanced stages.
  • Cholangiocarcinoma: This cancer is found in the bile ducts, which are the tubes around and inside the liver.
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