Types and Stages

Understanding Types & Stages of Liver Tumors

One of the first actions of any Palmer cancer center following the detection of a liver tumor is to quickly ascertain the type of tumor it is. If it is benign, no further action is necessary other than regular health monitoring. If the tumor is cancerous, then it is imperative that your medical professional identify the stage, which will help to determine how far the cancer has spread and which treatment option is best for fighting it.

Primary Liver Cancer Tumor Types

Primary liver tumors are those that originate or start in the liver. They don’t travel from another part of the body to the liver. There are two types of primary liver cancer tumors: hepatocellular carcinoma and cholangiocarcinoma.

Hepatocellular carcinoma is more commonly referred to as HCC, and it’s by far the most common type of liver cancer diagnosed. This cancer can occur due to cirrhosis of the liver. Risk factors can include

  • Obesity
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C
  • Alcoholism
  • Anabolic steroids

Cholangiocarcinoma, which is also known as bile duct cancer, is much rarer than HCC, and it is also much more difficult to treat due to how quickly it advances.

Tumor Stages

When determining stage for Palmer liver tumor treatment, your physician will look at size (T), spread (N), and metastasis (M) of the tumor. The tests will place a number next to each of these letters – if an X appears, it means that particular aspect couldn’t be assessed. A 0 means there is no tumor, it has not spread, or it has not metastasized to other parts of the body. Your physician will combine the numbers to ascertain the stage of any cancerous tumors, which will use Roman numerals to number it 1 to 4, with 4 being the most advanced.

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Outlook for Treatment

Liver tumors are often tricky to diagnose because they may not present any symptoms at first. Liver cancer often doesn’t show symptoms until the disease has reached advanced stages. The outlook for treatment and recovery after a liver cancer diagnosis depends largely on the type of tumor and how far the cancer has spread, but early diagnosis often provides a better outlook. For more information regarding Palmer liver tumor treatment, contact Mat-Su Valley Comprehensive Cancer Center at 907-707-1333.