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Liver Cancer Statistics and Prognosis

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Liver cancer statistics and prognosis provide an insight into occurrence of liver cancer and survival after its treatment or diagnosis. Liver cancer statistics are calculated based on careful study of hundreds of patients of liver cancer.

Liver cancer prognosis: Human liver performs the most complicated tasks of the human body. It is known to support over 500 vital functions of the human body. Liver cancer or for that matter cancer of any form carries huge risks to the patient's life. Naturally, people diagnosed of liver cancer are concerned of what their future holds. A liver cancer patient faces the following dilemmas,

  • What should be the diagnostics pre and post treatment and detection of the liver cancer
  • What will be the liver cancer patient's response to the treatment
  • Will the liver cancer patient survive and is the treatment worth taking if he has very chances of survival
  • Will the liver cancer patient suffer from side effects of the treatments
  • What could be the post operative complications after treatment such as surgery
  • What would it cost in terms of time and money

Liver cancer prognosis answers to the above questions. Liver cancer prognosis defines the outcomes of diagnosis and treatment of cancer patients. Liver cancer statistics and prognosis also predict the chances of recurrence of the liver cancer in the patient.

A doctor goes through results of several tests carried out on the patient such as endoscopic examination, MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), CT scan, X-rays and liver biopsy to ascertain the stage of the cancer. He determines the type of the liver cancer such as hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) or cholangiocarcinoma. He observes the size of the liver cancer tumor and whether it can spread to the nearby organs.

He then compares the results with liver cancer statistics and prognosis of similar group of people. For example, he may compare results with same age group or same sex patients and then come to a conclusion.

Based on such observations in multiple patients liver cancer statistics are calculated. Liver cancer statistics include; 1 year survival rate, 5 year survival rate and mortality rate.

Based on statistics in USA, one can say the following

  1. Overall around 9% patients of liver cancer patients survived beyond 5 years. Hepatocellular carcinoma has the poorest prognosis. About 10 to 20% of patients can be cured completely
  2. Most people whose treatment could not completely remove the cancerous tumors, managed to survive only around 6 months
  3. The five year survival rate was 10.6 percent and 7.4 percent respectively for white women and white men
  4. The five year survival rate was 5.5 percent and 4.6 percent respectively for black men and black women.

The staging of the liver cancer is crucial for higher and better prognosis. Earlier the detection and staging better is the detection

  • For localized liver cancer, 31 percent cases were reported of which around 19.0 percent managed to survive.
  • For regional liver cancer, 26 percent cases were reported of which 6.6 managed to survive.
  • For metastasized or distant stage liver cancer, 22 percent cases were reported of which 3.4 managed to survive.
  • For unstaged liver cancer, 22 percent cases were reported of which less 3.3 managed to survive.
  • Due to the complicated nature of the liver, treatment is very difficult hence liver cancer death rates were quite high.

The percentages of people who died from liver cancer based on age were:

  • 0.5 percent to 0.8 percent people between 20 and 34 died of liver cancer
  • 3.2 percent to 13 percent people between 35 and 54 died of liver cancer
  • 17 percent to 26 percent people between 55 and 74 died of liver cancer
  • 27 percent to 10 percent people around 75 and above 85 died of liver cancer

Cholangiocarcinoma prognosis and survival rate:

It is a rare cancer of the liver. Since it spreads to the distal lymph nodes surgical treatment is difficult. Hence the 5 year survival rates are near zero. There are various types of Cholangiocarcinoma.

  • Distal cholangiocarcinoma of the bile, has survival rates range from 15 to 25%
  • Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma of bile ducts inside the liver, has 22% to 66% survival rate
  • Perihilar cholangiocarcinoma of bile ducts near the liver exit, has survival rate from 20% to 50%

In all cases, if lymph nodes are not involved then chances of survival are higher

Thus, liver cancer statistics and prognosis are greatly dependent on factors like stage, type, race and sex. As with other cancers, earlier detection in patient's worldwide and better awareness of a liver cancer can certainly improve the statistics and prognosis of liver cancer.

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