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Liver cancer

Metastatic liver cancer

Liver cancer, also referred to as hepatic cancer, develops in the tissues of the liver, one of the largest organs of the human body. The liver has a variety of functions, including detoxification, breaking down fats, synthesizing proteins and aiding in digestion.

By traveling through lymph or blood vessels, cancerous cells sometimes travel throughout the body, invading new tissues or organs in a process called metastasis. Metastatic liver cancer is an advanced stage of the disease that started in the liver but has spread to other parts of the body.

Metastatic liver symptoms

Liver cancer symptoms often do not appear in the early stages. As a result, liver cancer tends to be diagnosed at a more advanced stage. If you’ve had other diseases of the liver or a family history of liver cancer, you have a higher risk of developing liver cancer and you should have regular follow-up visits with a doctor.

The symptoms of metastatic liver cancer vary depending on where new tumors form. For example, if the liver cancer spreads to the bones, it may cause bone fractures.

Common symptoms of metastatic liver cancer include:

Metastatic liver cancer treatment options

When liver cancer metastasizes, it most commonly spreads to the lungs and bones. The five-year survival rate for a patient whose liver cancer has spread to surrounding tissue, organs and/or lymph nodes is estimated at 11 percent. The five-year survival rate for a patient whose liver cancer has spread to distant tissue, organs and/or lymph nodes is estimated at 3 percent.

At Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA), we offer a number of treatment options for patients with metastatic liver cancer. We also provide therapies designed to ease the symptoms often associated with liver cancer.

In metastatic liver cancer, chemoembolization, a form of chemotherapy, may be a recommended course of treatment. Targeted therapy may be an option to help slow the tumor's growth.  We also provide therapies that may help ease the symptoms often associated with liver cancer, such as pain, appetite loss and nausea.

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