Liver Cancer: Statistics

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 03/2015

ON THIS PAGE: You will find information about how many people are diagnosed with this type of cancer each year and some general survival information. Remember, survival rates depend on several factors. To see other pages, use the menu on the side of your screen.

This year, an estimated 35,660 adults (25,510 men and 10,150 women) in the United States will be diagnosed with primary liver cancer. An estimated 24,550 deaths (17,030 men and 7,520 women) from this disease will occur this year. Liver cancer is the tenth most common cancer and the fifth most common cause of cancer death among men, and the ninth most common cause of cancer death among women.

When compared to the United States, liver cancer is much more common in developing countries within Africa and East Asia. In some countries, it is the most common cancer type.

The five-year survival rate is the percentage of people who survive at least five years after the cancer is found. Overall, the five-year survival rate of people with liver cancer is 17%. For the 42% of people who are diagnosed at an early stage, the five-year survival rate is 30%. If liver cancer has spread to surrounding tissues or organs and/or the regional lymph nodes, the five-year survival rate is 11%. If the cancer has spread to a distant part of the body, the five-year survival rate is 3%. However, even if the cancer is found at a more advanced stage, treatments are available that help many people with liver cancer experience a similar quality of life as before their diagnosis, at least for some period of time.

Cancer survival statistics should be interpreted with caution. These estimates are based on data from thousands of people with this type of cancer, so the actual risk for a particular individual may be different. It is not possible to tell a person how long he or she will live with liver cancer. Because the survival statistics are measured in five-year intervals, they may not represent advances made in the treatment or diagnosis of this cancer. Learn more about understanding statistics.

Statistics adapted from the American Cancer Society's publication, Cancer Facts & Figures 2015.

The next section in this guide is Medical Illustrations, and it offers drawings of body parts often affected by this disease. Or, use the menu on the left side of your screen to choose another section to continue reading this guide.