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What is the Prognosis for Liver Cancer?

It’s essential to know what is the prognosis for liver cancer as it gives ideas about the development of the disease. It helps both doctors to know the survival rates of the patients and whether the treatment given to them is effectively working or not.

People with the same stages and types of liver cancer are known to have in a certain length of time after first diagnosed. The prognosis doesn’t tell the patients how long they still live. Instead, this procedure helps patients to get a better understanding of how likely is the treatment given to the patients will succeed.

What is the Prognosis for Liver Cancer?

What is the Prognosis for Liver Cancer to Note?

There are several important things that people need to know about the prognosis of liver cancer. It helps to know the potential of relative survival rates for liver cancer patients. Bear in mind that survival rates are estimated based on the prior outcomes for large numbers of people who develop the same cancer.

1. Definition of a 5-year relative survival rate

A relative survival rate refers to a comparison between sufferers with similar types and stages of cancer to the whole population. For instance, if the 5-year relative survival rate for a particular stage of liver cancer is 30 %, it can be defined as people who suffer from that cancer is about an on average.

The number is about 30 percent similar to people who don’t suffer from that cancer and liver at minimum 5 years after getting diagnosed.

2.  The source of relative survival rate used

The survival rate is taken from Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database which is managed by National Cancer Institute (NCI) in America. This institute comes with survival statistics about different types of cancer (not only the liver).

Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database monitor the 5-year relative survival rates in the United States according to how far liver cancer has spread to the body. Instead of categorized liver cancer based on the stages in the TNM system, it categorizes liver cancer into localized, regional, as well as distant stages.

Based on the SEER database the liver cancer stages describe into:
  • Localized: describes the condition when there is no sign of cancer has spread into outside parts of the liver.

  • Regional: refers to liver cancer that has spread to outside parts of the liver and it affects either the closest structures or lymph nodes.

  • Distant: defines liver cancer that has spread to distant parts of the body and affects other organs such as lungs or bones.


3. The relative survival rates for liver cancer

What is the prognosis for liver cancer is different from one stage to another on its 5-year relative survival rates. The localized stage counts for 34 percent while the regional stage is 12 percent. The distant stage accounts for 3 percent and the combination of all stages is 20 percent.

Generally, the survival rates of people with liver cancer are higher for those who undergo surgery for cancer removal, no matter what the stage. For instance, patients with small and removable liver tumors who don’t affect by cirrhosis or severe health problems are likely to develop a good condition after cancer removal.

This also similarly happens to liver cancer patients who receive other medical treatment for cancer. For example, people who are still in the early stage of liver and get liver transplantation will raise their 5-year survival rate to 60 to 70 percent. Treatments that improved over time will increase the rate too.

Knowing what is the prognosis for liver cancer helps you to know how this disease would likely in few years to come. Since it is categorized based on cancer spread age, and overall health, the percentage might still change due to treatments given.

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