Liver Cancer Survival Rate:


What is liver cancer?

Liver cancer is a malignant neoplastic disease of the liver usually occurring as a metastasis from another cancer and the symptoms include loss of appetite, weakness, pain in upper right abdomen, fever, jaundice and bloating.

What are the survival rates for liver cancer?

First of all there are no symptoms of liver cancer at very early stage and only a small number of liver cancers are found in the early stages and can be removed by surgery. Fewer than 30% of patients having surgery are able to have their cancer completely removed and the overall 5-year relative survival rate from liver cancer is about 7%. The 5-year relative survival rate is the percentage of patients who are still alive at least 5 years after the cancer is found and those who die of other causes are not counted. It is sure that patients might live more than 5 years after diagnosis.
According to the researchers, more than 60 percent of liver transplant patients with advanced liver cancer are still alive after five years, compared to nearly zero survival for those patients who did not undergo transplant. Also they have said that regular screening of patients with cirrhosis, a risk factor for liver cancer, is needed to detect the cancer early and ensure the best possible outcome so that the survival rate can increase. And also to the favorable five-year survival rates, researchers found that survival rates increased steadily over the last decade, suggesting that criteria for patient selection established by other experts may assist physicians in selecting those patients most likely to respond well to the procedure.
Using the United Network for Organ Sharing database, the researchers collected data on 48,887 patients who underwent liver transplantation in the United States between 1987 and 2001 and patients were excluded if they had undergone multiple organ transplantation or retransplantation, were less than 18 years of age, or lacked survival data. Other remaining patients included in the final analysis, 985 had liver transplantation for liver cancer while 33,339 patients had liver transplantation for other reasons and both the liver cancer and control groups were divided into three different five-year time periods: 1987 - 1991, 1992 - 1996, and 1997 - 2001.
The latest survival rate:
Researchers found significant and steady improvement in survival over time among liver transplant patients with liver cancer, especially in the last five years and the five-year survival improved from 25.3 percent during 1987-1991 to 47 percent during 1992-1996, and 61.1 percent during 1996-2001. Hence the survival rate is increasing year by year.

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