Liver cancer, also known as hepatic cancer and primary hepatic cancer, is cancer that starts in the liver.[1] Cancer which has spread from elsewhere to the liver, known as liver metastasis, is more common than that which starts in the liver.[3] Symptoms of liver cancer may include a lump or pain in the right side below the rib cage, swelling of the abdomen, yellowish skin, easy bruising, weight loss, and weakness.[1]

The leading cause of liver cancer is cirrhosis due to hepatitis B, hepatitis C, or alcohol.[4] Other causes include aflatoxin, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and liver flukes.[3] The most common types are hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), which makes up 80% of cases, and cholangiocarcinoma.[3] Less common types include mucinous cystic neoplasm and intraductal papillary biliary neoplasm.[3] The diagnosis may be supported by blood tests and medical imaging with confirmation by tissue biopsy.[1]

Preventive efforts include immunization against hepatitis B and treating those infected with hepatitis B or C.[3] Screening is recommended in those with chronic liver disease.[3] Treatment options may include surgery, targeted therapy, and radiation therapy.[1] In certain cases ablation therapy, embolization therapy, or liver transplantation may be used.[1] Small lumps in the liver may be closely followed.[1]

Primary liver cancer is globally the sixth most frequent cancer (6%) and the second leading cause of death from cancer (9%).[3][7] In 2012 it occurred in 782,000 people and in 2015 resulted in 810,500 deaths.[7][6] In 2015, 263,000 deaths from liver cancer were due to hepatitis B, 167,000 to hepatitis C, and 245,000 to alcohol.[6] Higher rates of liver cancer occur where hepatitis B and C are common, including Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.[3] Males are more often affected with HCC than females.[3] Diagnosis is most frequent among those 55 to 65 years old.[2] Five-year survival rates are 18% in the United States.[2] The word "hepatic" is from the Greek hêpar, meaning "liver".[8]

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