ON THIS PAGE: You will find information about how many people learn they have this type of cancer each year and some general survival information. Remember, survival rates depend on several factors. To see other pages in this guide, use the colored boxes on the right side of your screen, or click “Next” at the bottom.
This year, an estimated 30,640 adults (22,720 men and 7,920 women) in the United States will be diagnosed with primary liver cancer. An estimated 21,670 deaths (14,890 men and 6,780 women) from this disease will occur this year. Liver cancer is the fifth most common cause of cancer death among men, and ninth most common cause of cancer death among women.
As 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 relative survival rate (percentage of people who survive at least five years after the cancer is detected, excluding those who die from other diseases) of people with liver cancer is 15%. For the 40% of people who are diagnosed at an early stage, the five-year survival rate is 28%. If liver cancer has spread to surrounding tissues or organs and/or the regional lymph nodes, the five-year survival rate is 10%. 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, but the actual risk for a particular individual may differ. 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 2013.
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