Liver Cancer Life Expectancy For Patients
Life Expectancy With Liver Cancer – Find It Early
Liver cancer is considered to be the third most dreaded cancer due to its poor prognosis. Although advancements in technology have led to various methods that can help prevent or stop liver cancer, patients with extreme cases are expected to live for only a few months or a year after the discovery of the illness. The reason for such short life expectancy is that the disease is very difficult to treat and surgical removal of the tumor is not 100 percent effective. Consequently, liver cancer life expectancy is dependent on the cancer’s stage when it is detected.
Primary Liver Cancer Life Expectancy
Primary liver cancer refers to the cancer that originates in the liver itself. This is a rare condition; only 2% of all cancers in the U.S. are attributed to primary liver cancer, while it is 10 to 50% in Africa and Asia.
Life expectancy with liver cancer of this nature is particularly poor because the condition is often diagnosed at the later stage of the disease. Often, patients with primary liver cancer only go to the doctor when the cancer symptoms have already surfaced. At this point, their condition is already advanced, which is why they are always given a poor prognosis due to late diagnosis.
It is said that only 1 out of 10 people are diagnosed in the early stage of the disease and these patients have a higher chance of survival since surgical removal of the tumor is still a viable procedure.
Liver cancer life expectancy in this case is only a few months to about a year. About 20% will live for a year after diagnosis while about 5% may survive for 5 years after the discovery of the tumor.
Metastatic Liver Cancer Life Expectancy
Metastatic liver cancer refers to cancers that have spread to the liver from any other part of the body. This is more common than primary liver cancer, about 20 times more prevalent. The liver is susceptible to metastatic cancer because it is one of the major organs in the body that allows blood and other growth-enhancing molecules to flow through it, thus the organ is often affected by the cancer-bearing radicals distributed by the blood.
Prognosis of metastatic liver cancer depends on the time of discovery of the tumor. If the cancer is discovered at the early stage of the disease, the patient is expected to have a relatively good outlook, but if the malignancy is discovered at the later stages of the disease, the patient will have a grim prognosis, as the malignant tumor will have already spread all over the organ and removal of the tumor may not be an effective treatment option.
Liver Cancer Treatment
Surgical removal of the tumor may be possible for patients diagnosed early or the tumor is quite small. This patient has a higher chance of survival rate and is expected to live up to 5 years upon removal of the tumor or if the disease doesn’t recur.
Apart from surgical removal of the tumor, there is another method of increasing the life expectancy of liver cancer patients and that is through the replacement of the damaged organ with a new one. Liver transplants are possible and survival rate is quite high, especially when the disease was discovered in its early stage. Experts say that 4 out of 5 patients who undergo liver transplant are expected to live up to 4 years.
For a patient whose tumor is too large to be removed surgically the outlook is poor, due to the fact that the disease will eventually develop and metastasize to other areas in the body. However, the spread of the disease can be slowed down using medication and other means of therapy. A person in this scenario is expected to live up to 3 years.
Unfortunately, there are patients whose cancer is discovered at the end stage and surgical removal of the tumor is no longer a good option. Medication can still help ease the pain but the treatment can’t prolong the life of the individual. In this scenario, the patient is expected to live up to 1 year.
Conclusion on Liver Cancer Life Expectancy
Liver cancer varies from person to person thus life expectancy is also variable. Life expectancy is dependent on the time of discovery of the disease; a person whose tumor was discovered early on and all treatment is available will be able to survive for a number of years, whilst a person whose cancer is discovered at its end stage, unfortunately, has a very poor prognosis.
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