In one small study of people with metastatic liver cancer, those whose liver cancer had spread to their lymph nodes or distant organs had an average survival rate of 4 and 11 months, depending on the severity of liver damage and if they received treatment.
Note that these are average numbers from large groups of people. Your life time can vary depending on the type of treatment you are receiving, the characteristics of your specific cancer, and your overall health.
While this may seem daunting to those who have been diagnosed with liver cancer, survival rates are moderate and vary from person to person depending on a variety of factors. Getting the right treatment can help a person with liver cancer to live a long and full life.
How does liver cancer spread?
Abnormal cells usually die and are replaced by healthy cells. Sometimes, instead of dying, these cells reproduce. As the number of cells grows, tumors begin to form. Increased abnormal cells can invade nearby tissues. By traveling through lymph nodes or blood vessels, cancer cells can circulate throughout the body.
If it invades other tissues or organs, new tumors may form. If the cancer invades nearby tissues or organs, it is considered a “regional area.” This can occur during stage 3C or stage 4A of liver cancer. In Stage 3C, the tumor of the liver grows into another organ. Swelling may also be pushing against the outer layer of the liver.
In Stage 4A, there is one or more tumors of any size in the liver. Others have reached blood vessels or nearby organs. Cancer is also found in nearby lymph nodes. Cancer that has spread to a distant organ, such as the colon or lungs, is considered stage 4B. In addition to explaining how cancer is spread, the steps help determine which treatment may be most helpful.
The stage of liver cancer depends on whether it has spread from the liver to other organs or nearby lymph nodes. Staging also depends on how much cancer is in the body.
Determining what stage your cancer is at will help your doctor determine the severity of your condition and treatment. Measures can also be used to determine living standards. That is because cancers with similar stages tend to have the same attitude and are often treated in the same way.
Stages of liver cancer range from stage 1 to 4. As the number decreases, so does the cancer. The most commonly used system for determining action on the TNM Cancer system. TNM manages:
- T; The extent and size of the tumor. Doctors will look at how big the cancer is, how much growth it is, and whether it has reached the structures around the liver.
- N; If it spreads to nearby lymph nodes.
- M; If liver cancer is mutating, or spreading to sites outside the liver such as bones or lungs.
The severity of the cancer is determined when using the TNM system, and each letter is usually followed by a letter or other number that provides more information about a specific cause. The large number means that the cancer has progressed further. This then triggers a process known as a step group, in which letters and numbers are linked to determine the final step.
Symptoms of liver cancer
Symptoms do not appear in the early stages. As the size of the tumor increases, it can cause pain in the right side of the abdomen. Some patients may have more severe symptoms of chronic liver disease or cirrhosis, which often precedes the development of liver cancer.
Some of the common signs and symptoms of liver cancer include:
- Unexplained weight loss
- Decreased appetite
- Nausea or vomiting
- The enlarged liver, which can be seen as flat on the right side of the abdomen
- Increased spleen
- Pain in the abdomen or near the right shoulder blade
- Inflammation of the legs and abdomen
- Accumulation of fluid in the stomach
- Jaundice (yellow skin and eyes)
What are the survival rates for liver cancer
The survival of cancer patients depends on the stage of the cancer. The overall survival rate for liver cancer patients is low, due to other health conditions, such as cirrhosis. In general, the survival rate for five years for all stages of liver cancer is only 15%. However, the survival rate for five years may vary depending on the prevalence of cancer.
The five-year survival rate for cancer in the liver is 28%, whereas, for cancer the spread of nearby organs (regional liver cancer) and the spread of cancer to distant organs or tissues (distant liver cancer) is 7% and 2%, subordinate. . There are no other statistics on liver cancer.
Stage 0; Without treatment, the average life expectancy of stage 0 cancer is over 3 years. With treatment, between 70 and 90 out of 100 people will live for 5 years or more. To treat liver cancer stage 0, you may undergo surgery to remove a part of the liver, a liver transplant, or treatment with cancer, usually using heat.
Stage A; Without treatment, the average life expectancy of stage A cancer is 3 years. With treatment, between 50 and 70 out of 100 people will live for 5 years or more. To treat the stage of liver cancer, you may undergo surgery to remove a part of the liver, a liver transplant, or treatment to destroy the cancer.
Stage B; Without treatment, the average survival of stage B liver cancer is 16 months. For treatment, the average lifespan of stage B liver cancer is 20 months. To treat stage B liver cancer, you can use chemotherapy directly on a blood vessel that feeds on the liver and prevents blood supply.
Stage C; Without treatment, the average lifespan of stage C of liver cancer is between 4 and 8 months. With treatment, the average lifespan of stage C liver cancer is between 6 and 11 months. you may have a targeted anti-cancer drug such as sorafenib. Or your doctor may recommend a medical experiment.
Stage D; Without treatment, the average life expectancy of stage D cancer is less than 4 months. There is no treatment that works well for stage D.
Factors that influence a patient’s prognosis
People who are diagnosed with early liver cancer often have better survival rates. However, there are many other factors that can affect a person’s prognosis. For example: Patients receiving general medical treatment, comprehensive cancer centers can benefit from the knowledge of many specialists, as well as advanced treatments that focus on their unique needs.
Patients participating in clinical trials may receive treatment that is not yet available elsewhere, and this may be particularly helpful for patients with late-stage liver cancer, recurrent liver cancer and other complex conditions.
It is important to remember, however, that it is impossible to predict even when considering these various factors how a specific person will respond to treatment. Today, many patients live beyond their original predicament and gain a quality of life enhanced by novel treatment and in-depth supportive care.
Treatment of liver cancer life expectancy
There is no cure for liver cancer, but treatment can help reduce its spread and reduce symptoms. Your doctor will recommend treatment based on where your cancer is spread and how well your liver is still functioning. Other important things to consider include any previous treatment you have had, your liver health, and your overall health.
Treatment for liver cancer may include the following:
- immunotherapy to increase the response of your immune system to cancer.
- drugs targeted like Nexavar and lenvatinib (Lenvima) to prevent new blood vessels and arteries that can help cancer cells grow and proliferate.
- chemotherapy destroys cancer cells throughout your body.
- radiation to treat targeted areas, or reduce pain.
- ablation kills swelling using energy.
- radioembolization disrupts the blood supply to the tumor.
You may also need medication to relieve pain, fatigue, and other symptoms of cancer. Whatever treatment you choose, you can get some side effects. Do not hesitate to ask questions and be open with your doctor about any side effects that affect your quality of life.
Your cancer doctor can also provide information about clinical trials. These studies are testing new treatments for liver cancer. They can give you access to treatment that is not yet publicly available.
Eating well will not cure cancer, but it can give your body the energy and nutrients it needs during treatment. Try to eat all of these foods:
- colored fruits and vegetables (spinach, carrots, broccoli, red pepper, etc.).
- protein from chicken, eggs, fish, tofu, beans, and low-fat milk.
- healthy oils from avocados, olive oil, nuts and seeds.
- whole grains such as brown rice and whole wheat bread.
Avoid sweets and fried foods, which contain less nutrients. Also avoid or reduce alcohol as it can damage your liver. Drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated. Liver cancer and some of its treatments can cause nausea, which can make it difficult for you to eat.
Eating several small meals instead of three large ones can be easy on your digestive system. If you do not know what to eat or have trouble eating, talk to your doctor. You can also get advice from a nutritionist who works with people living with cancer.