What are the stages of metastatic liver cancer?


Quick Answer

The stages of metastatic liver cancer involve stage IIIC and all stages of IV, according to the American Cancer Society. Metastasis means the cancer has spread from the liver to other parts of the body, notes the National Cancer Institute.

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Full Answer

In stage IIIC, the liver cancer has spread to a nearby organ that is not the gallbladder or has begun to grow on the liver's outer membrane, explains the American Cancer Society. There is still no involvement of lymph nodes. In stage IVA, the cancer has spread into the patient's lymph nodes and possibly into blood vessels and nearby organs, though it has not spread to distant areas such as the brain. There can be more than one tumor, and tumors can be of any size.

In stage IVB, the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, including distant locations, says the American Cancer Society. It has not necessarily spread into local lymph nodes, however. Besides numbered stages, the American Joint Committee on Cancer also has a TNM system. T stands for the size and number of the tumors that began in the liver, N tells the doctor and patient how much it has or has not spread into nearby lymph nodes, and M describes whether the cancer has spread to distant areas in the body.

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