There is no doubt that liver cancer is an aggressive type of cancer. Globally, liver cancer is the most common form of cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, 41,260 new cases of primary liver cancer and intrahepatic bile duct cancer will be diagnosed in the United States in 2022 (28,600 men and 12,660 women). A total of 30,520 people will die from these cancers (20,420 men and 10,100 women).
There are four stages of liver cancer. However, in today’s article, we will discuss stage 4 liver cancer, life expectancy, and treatment options.
What is Stage 4 Liver Cancer?
If cancer has spread from one place to another, it is called metastasis or stage 4 liver cancer. Cancer cells grow into tumors and travel through blood circulation. It spreads to other parts of the body through blood circulation. This cancer usually spreads to the lungs and bones and then, in a small percentage, may spread to abnormal areas such as the adrenal gland and brain.
Stage 4 Liver Cancer Symptoms
- An abdomen swelling is very common
- Stomach ache
- The right shoulder blade or upper abdomen are painful.
- The patient loses appetite and weight, but his diet remains unchanged.
- Abdominal bloating
- Persistent fatigue or weakness
- Unexplained fever
- Difficulty to breath
- Coughing a blood
- Symptoms of bone pain and bone weakness can be seen when there is cancer in the bone.
Stage 4 liver cancer how long to live
The life expectancy for stage 4 liver cancer patients depends on how far the cancer has spread and where it is found. Male liver cancer patients have a five-year survival rate of 2.2%, while female cancer patients have a five-year survival rate of 4%. But it may depend on the overall health and condition of the patients.
Read Also – 10 Functions of the Liver
What Happens in Last Stage of Liver Cancer?
Cancer may have spread to nearby lymph nodes and distant areas within the body when it reaches stage 4. Metastasis from advanced liver cancer usually occurs in the lungs and bones, but it can also happen in the spleen.
Liver cancer at stage 4: What Should I Expect?
Five-year survival rates are usually used to measure the prognosis of cancer. This is the number of patients who have survived five years after diagnosis. The treatment varies according to the cancer’s stage.
Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER), a division of the National Cancer Institute, provides data on stage 4 liver cancer life expectancy. Rather than using cancer stages 1 through 4, SEER classifies cancers into localized, regional, and distant. It is considered distant when liver cancer reaches stage 4. If you have stage 4 liver cancer, you should speak to your oncologist to determine the prognosis based on your individual needs.
Treatment of Stage 4 Liver Cancer
If the cancer is localized, it can be treated with surgery and radiation therapy. In the case of stage 4 liver cancer, however, this is not possible due to the spread of cancer through the blood vessels. That’s why doctors don’t recommend surgery and radiation.
Treatment for stage 4 liver cancer oncologists always suggests chemotherapy. Chemotherapy is a treatment given through needles or oral medications. Chemotherapy does not cure liver cancer completely. It is possible to control cancer with chemotherapy, although its effectiveness is limited for a certain period of time.
Surgery is done in liver cancer only when the cancer is spread only in some parts, so it is possible. In this case, the operation is performed where the disease began, and it is also performed where the disease has spread.
An alternative to chemotherapy is a liver transplant for stage 4. A liver transplant may be considered a very helpful treatment if the tumor is small and has not spread outside the liver.
The liver plays a crucial role in our body, as we all know. We should not drink alcohol in good health if we want a long and healthy life.
The purpose of this article is to answer your liver cancer question that how long can a patient survive with stage 4 liver cancer. Hopefully, this will be helpful to you or someone you know. Please share
You must read another similar article of ours: Why liver cancer is so deadly