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What is the typical prognosis for patients with liver cancer?

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The prognosis for patients with liver cancer is generally poor, with an overall five-year survival rate of 15 percent for all stages of liver cancer, according to MedicineNet. Prognosis is affected by tumor size, whether cancer has spread beyond the liver and the number of lesions among other factors.

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Full Answer

The patient’s general overall health and the health of surrounding liver tissue is also important to the patient’s prognosis, notes MedicineNet. Additionally, any diseases or conditions affecting the patient can lower overall survival expectancy, since many people diagnosed with liver cancer are also experiencing other problems, such as cirrhosis of the liver, which can affect the prognosis of the disease.

When liver cancer is confined just to the liver, which is known as localized liver cancer, the five-year survival rate is 28 percent, notes MedicineNet. Regional cancer that has spread beyond the liver to involve nearby organs is associated with a five-year survival rate of just 7 percent.

Catching liver cancer early greatly improves prognosis. If the cancer can be removed surgically, five-year survival rates climb to over 50 percent, reports MedicineNet. Liver cancer diagnosed early and treated with a liver transplant has an even better prognosis, with five-year survival rates climbing to 70 percent.

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