The overall 5-year survival for those afflicted with liver cancer is 16 percent, according to the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Liver cancer kills approximately 23,000 people annually in the United States, as of 2015. Approximately 33,190 people are diagnosed with primary liver cancer each year.
About 41 percent of people diagnosed with liver cancer are diagnosed in its earliest stages, and for those people, the 5-year survival rate is slightly higher at 29 percent, notes the ASCO. Once cancer has spread beyond the surrounding tissues, the 5-year survival rate drops to 10 percent. The 5-year survival rate for those with liver cancer that has spread to distant sites is just 3 percent.