Liver Cancer: Statistics

This section has been reviewed and approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 03/2014

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, use the menu on the side of your screen.

This year, an estimated 33,190 adults (24,600 men and 8,590 women) in the United States will be diagnosed with primary liver cancer. An estimated 23,000 deaths (15,870 men and 7,130 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 detected, excluding those who die from other diseases. Overall, the five-year survival rate of people with liver cancer is 16%. For the 41% of people who are diagnosed at an early stage, the five-year survival rate is 29%. 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 2014.

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