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Liver Cancer Prognosis

Factors Affecting a Liver Cancer Prognosis

The American Cancer Society estimates that 18,510 men and women (12,600 men and 5,910 women) will be diagnosed with liver cancer and that 16,200 men and women will die of liver cancer in 2006.
The liver cancer prognosis depends on:
  • The stage of the cancer (the size of the tumor, whether it affects part or all of the liver, or has spread to other places in the body)
  • How well the liver is working.
  • The patient's general health, including whether there is cirrhosis of the liver
  • Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) levels.


What Are Survival Rates?

Survival rates indicate the percentage of people with a certain type and stage of cancer who survive the disease for a specific period of time after their diagnosis. Often, statistics refer to the five-year survival rate, which means the percentage of people who are still alive five years after diagnosis and whether they have few or no signs or symptoms of cancer, are free of disease, or are receiving treatment. Survival rates are based on large groups of people. They cannot be used to predict what will happen to a particular patient. No two patients are exactly alike, and liver cancer treatment and responses to treatment vary greatly. 

Liver Cancer Prognosis and Survival Rates

Survival rates can be calculated by different methods for different purposes. The liver cancer survival rates presented here are based on the relative survival rate, which measures the survival of the cancer patients in comparison to the general population to estimate the effect of cancer. The overall five-year relative liver cancer survival rate for 1995-2001 was 9.0 percent.
Five-year relative survival rates for liver cancer by race and sex were:
  • 7.4 percent for white men
  • 10.6 percent for white women
  • 5.5 percent for black men
  • 4.6 percent for black women.
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Cancer of the Liver

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