What Is the Prognosis for Cancer With Liver Metastases?


Quick Answer

The survival rate of a patient with cancer that metastasized to the liver depends on the type of primary cancer he has, the severity of the cancer and type of treatments done, according to MedlinePlus. Surgery to remove liver tumors leads to a cure in rare cases.

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Full Answer

Prognosis of liver metastasis is typically worse than the prognosis for the primary cancer alone, notes EverydayHealth. However, statistics are only averages and do not take into account individual factors. Cancerous tumors can either be resistant or respond well to chemotherapy. A treatment plan for one patient does not work for others, all because of the unique tumor biology.

Cancer that metastasized to the liver rarely has a cure, and treatments only improve life expectancy, shrink tumors and relieve symptoms, explains MedlinePlus. An individual treatment plan is made based on the site of the primary cancer, the amount of liver tumors, the overall health of the patient and other factors.

Chemotherapy is usually used to treat liver metastases, but surgery is considered in cases where cancer is only in a few areas of the liver, according to MedlinePlus. Other treatments include injecting alcohol into a liver tumor and using microwave energy to kill cancer cells. Doctors also consider treatments such as cryotherapy and radioactive beads in some cases.

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