FAQ: What Is Secondary Liver Cancer?
What is secondary liver cancer? Secondary cancer in the liver happens when cancer cells spread to the liver from a primary cancer somewhere else in the body. Sometimes, cells break away from the primary cancer. These cancer cells are carried in the bloodstream or lymphatic system to another part of the body.
Is secondary liver cancer curable?
Although most cases of secondary cancer in the liver can’t be cured, surgery and other treatments can keep many cancers under control for months or even many years. Whatever the prognosis, palliative treatment can relieve symptoms, such as pain, to improve quality of life.
Where does secondary liver cancer usually start?
Most liver metastases start as cancer in the colon or rectum. Up to 70 percent of people with colorectal cancer eventually develop liver metastases. This happens in part because the blood supply from the intestines is connected directly to the liver through a large blood vessel called the portal vein.
Can secondary liver cancer be cured with chemotherapy?
Sadly, chemotherapy will not cure you of your secondary liver cancer but it may control your cancer or it even reduce its size. This can help to control any symptoms you may have and may also extend your life.
Is secondary cancer worse than primary?
Metastases are often more dangerous than the primary tumor that gives rise to them. They are responsible for 90% of all cancer deaths.
How long can you live with secondary cancer in the liver?
In one small study of people with metastatic hepatocellular carcinoma, 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 their liver damage and whether they received treatment.
What is life expectancy when cancer spreads to liver?
Prognosis for liver metastases tends to be poor, with a roughly 11% survival rate for 5 years. Treatments can help reduce the symptoms and shrink the tumor, but typically, there is no cure for liver metastases.
What does secondary liver cancer feel like?
Secondary cancer in the liver may not cause any symptoms for a long time, and it may only be discovered by routine tests. Symptoms that might occur include loss of appetite, weight loss, feeling sick (nausea) and tiredness (fatigue). Some people may also have a high temperature and feel shivery.
How bad is it when cancer spreads to the liver?
Symptoms of liver metastasis In later stages, cancer can cause the liver to swell or obstruct the normal flow of blood and bile. When this happens, the following symptoms may occur: loss of appetite. weight loss.
Is secondary liver cancer bad?
Because the cancer has spread from another part of the body, secondary cancer in the liver is considered advanced cancer. It will be given a stage using the system for the primary cancer – for example, if it started in the bowel, it will often be staged using a system called TNM (tumour–nodes–metastasis).
Can liver metastases be removed?
Liver Resection or Removal Surgical resection is often the most effective therapy to treat liver tumors. Perlmutter Cancer Center doctors may recommend surgically removing liver cancer or liver metastases—cancer that has spread from another organ, such as the colon.
What stage is secondary cancer?
stage IV – the cancer has spread from where it started to at least one other body organ; also known as “secondary” or “metastatic” cancer.
What is the best treatment for secondary liver cancer?
Secondary liver cancer treatment The main treatment for secondary cancer in the liver is chemotherapy or a combination of surgery and chemotherapy. You may also be having treatment for the primary cancer or be offered palliative treatment.
Why is secondary liver cancer inoperable?
Unresectable (inoperable) liver cancer that has not spread This might be because: The tumor is too large to be removed safely. The tumor is in a part of the liver that makes it hard to remove (such as very close to a large blood vessel). There are several tumors or the cancer has spread throughout the liver.
How long does it take for secondary cancer to develop?
When Do Second Cancers Occur? A second cancer can appear at any time during survivorship. Some studies show that a common time for cancers to develop is from five to nine years after completion of treatment.
What happens if you get secondary cancer?
Sometimes cells break away from the primary cancer and are carried in the bloodstream or through the lymphatic system to another part of the body. The cancer cells may settle in that part of the body and form a new tumour. If this happens, the new tumour is called a secondary cancer or a metastasis.