What Is the Prognosis for Colon Cancer That Metastasizes in the Liver?

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As of 2015, men and women who have colon cancer that metastasizes in the liver have a 7 percent and 8 percent five-year survival rate respectively, according to Cancer Research UK. However, these statistics do not take into account individual factors, such as the type of treatments done.

If the cancer can be removed from the liver through surgery, there is a 25 to 40 percent five-year survival rate after diagnosis, notes Cancer Research UK. The survival rate of patients with colon cancer has improved considerably over the last 40 years.

Even if colon cancer is removed or cured, it is still possible for liver metastasis to occur years later, explains Healthline. Doctors do not have a cure for liver cancer, and the success of treatments done depends on how much of the cancer has spread to the liver. It is impossible to live without a functioning liver because it has many important functions including storing glycogen, making bile and cleansing the blood of toxins.

Colon cancer that has metastasized in the liver is considered stage 4 cancer, and patients with such cancer may or may not experience any symptoms, including weight loss, blood in stool and fatigue, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. Doctors use various methods to treat the cancer, such as chemotherapy, surgery, portal vein embolization and interventional radiology. Portal vein embolization is a procedure that helps the liver regrow prior to liver resection surgery so that patients have a necessary amount of liver left after surgery to survive.