LIVER TUMORS ABOUT THE CONDITION

YOUR LIVER IS AN IMPORTANT ORGAN

The liver is the second largest organ in your body. It helps your body digest food and absorb nutrients. The liver produces bile, a substance your body needs to absorb vitamins.

Equally important, the liver filters drugs, alcohol, chemicals, and environmental toxins from your blood. It can filter up to 1 1/2 quarts of blood each day. Its role as a blood filter makes the liver susceptible to secondary (metastatic) tumors. These are tumors whose cells have spread to the liver through the bloodstream from other parts of the body.

1.      Right lobe of liver
2.      Left lobe of liver
3.      Stomach
4.      Superior mesenteric vein
5.      Superior mesenteric artery
6.      Pancreas
7.      Duodenum
8.      Gallbladder

Illustration of gastrointestinal system, showing location of liver, gallbladder, stomach, and pancreas.

LIVER TUMORS CAN ATTACK IN TWO WAYS

PRIMARY LIVER TUMORS START IN YOUR LIVER

Primary liver tumors originate in the liver. The most common form is hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).1 HCC can start as a single tumor in the liver. It then grows and spreads to other parts of the liver. HCC can also start as many small tumors throughout the liver. When HCC is found only in the liver, it’s called “localized.” HCC can spread outside the liver to the lymph nodes or to other organs in the body. The most common risk factors for HCC are hepatitis B, hepatitis C, cirrhosis, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, or exposure to aflatoxins.1

SECONDARY LIVER TUMORS SPREAD TO YOUR LIVER

Secondary (or metastatic) liver tumors originate in another part of the body and spread to the liver. In most cases, the metastatic liver tumor grows from cells that have spread from cancers in the colon or rectum.2

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF LIVER TUMORS

If you visit your doctor when you first notice symptoms, your liver tumor(s) might be diagnosed earlier, when intervention is most likely to help.3 Symptoms do not necessarily mean you have a tumor. However, most liver tumor patients experience symptoms such as these:

  • Loss of weight (without trying)
  • Loss of appetite
  • A feeling of being very full (even after a small meal)
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Swelling under the ribs on the right side (enlarged liver)
  • Swelling under the ribs on the left side (enlarged spleen)
  • Swelling or buildup of fluid in the abdomen
  • Pain in the abdomen or near the right shoulder blade
  • Itching or yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice)

Liver tumors can cause other symptoms too. These include fever, enlarged veins on the belly that can be seen through the skin, and abnormal bruising or bleeding.

LIVER TUMORS DEMAND ATTENTION

EXPLORE OPTIONS

 

  • Primary liver tumors are the second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide.4,5
  • More than 50% of patients with colorectal cancer will develop colorectal liver metastases in their lifetime6-8
  • The leading cause of death from colorectal cancer is liver failure.9
  • While many cancers are on the decline, the incidence of liver tumors is growing by an average rate of 6.5% annually.10
  • By 2030, liver tumors are projected to be the third-leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States.10

FIND A PHYSICIAN

Find a doctor in your area who specializes in ablation therapy for unresectable liver tumors.

SEARCH NOW

KEEP LEARNING

Continue reading about liver tumors and learn about possible interventions:

1

American Cancer Society. Liver Cancer. Updated April 28, 2016. http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/003114-pdf.pdf Accessed December 21, 2016.

2

Sadahiro S, Suzuki T, Tanaka A, Okada K, Kamata H. Hematogenous metastatic patterns of curatively resected colon cancer were different from those of stage IV and autopsy cases. Japanese Journal Of Clinical Oncology. 2013;43(4):444-447.

3

Renumathy Dhanasekaran, et al.  Hepatocellular carcinoma: current trends in worldwide epidemiology, risk factors, diagnosis and therapeutics. Hepat Med. 2012; 4 : 19-37.

4

Benson AB, Abrams TA, Ben-Josef E, et al. Hepatobiliary Cancers: Clinical Practice Guidelines in OncologyTM. Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network: JNCCN. 2009;7(4):350-391.

5

World Health Organization, Globocan (2012). Liver Cancer: Estimated Incidence, Mortality and Prevalence Worldwide in 2012. International Agency for Research on Cancer. http://globocan.iarc.fr/old/FactSheets/cancers/liver-new.asp#INCIDENCE1

6

Wanis KN, Pineda-Solis K, Tun-Abraham ME, et al. Management of colorectal cancer with synchronous liver metastases: impact of multidisciplinary case conference review. Hepatobiliary Surgery And Nutrition. 2017;6(3):162-169. doi:10.21037/hbsn.2017.01.01.

7

Zarour LR, Anand S, Billingsley KG, et al. Colorectal Cancer Liver Metastasis: Evolving Paradigms and Future Directions. Cellular and Molecular Gastroenterology and Hepatology. 2017;3(2):163-173. doi:10.1016/j.jcmgh.2017.01.00

8

Misiakos EP, Karidis NP, Kouraklis G. Current treatment for colorectal liver metastases. World J Gastroenterol 2011; 17(36): 4067-4075

9

Park, J. et al.(2014) The Evolution of Liver-Directed Treatments for Hepatic Colorectal Metastases. Oncology. 28(11): 991-1003.

10

Rahib et al. (2014). Projecting Cancer Incidence and Deaths to 2030: The Unexpected Burden of Thyroid, Liver, and Pancreas Cancers in the United States. Cancer Res 74(11): 2913-2921.

Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.