Liver Cancer Important FAQs

The main cause of Liver Cancer

How does a person get liver cancer? What is the main cause of liver cancer?

Primary liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma) tends to occur in livers damaged by birth defects, alcohol abuse, cirrhosis, and chronic infection with diseases such as hepatitis B and C.

What is hemochromatosis?

It is a hereditary disease associated with too much iron in the liver.

What is the first sign of liver cancer? What Causes Liver Cancer?

The signs and symptoms of liver cancer are most often the result of liver damage and may include yellowing of the skin (jaundice), hard lump under the ribs on the right side of the body, which could be the tumor or a lump in the right upper abdomen. Many warning signs are non-specific, such as weight loss and severe fatigue.

The survival rate for liver cancer

What is the survival rate for liver cancer? What is the 5-year survival rate of liver cancer?

  • For the 44% of people who are diagnosed at an early stage, the 5-year survival rate is 31%.
  • But if liver cancer has spread to surrounding tissues or organs and/or the regional lymph nodes, the 5-year survival rate is decreased to 11%.
  • If the cancer has spread to a distant parts of the patient’s body, the five year survival rate is just 2%. 

Do you get pain with liver cancer?

Patients may feel pain at the top right of the abdominal area, near the right shoulder blade, or in the back. One can also feel unexplained weight loss and feeling of bigger liver.

What is the liver and its function?

  1. The liver is a dark reddish-brown organ which performs multiple functions.
  2. The main function is to filter the blood coming from the digestive tract, before passing it to the rest of the body.
  3. The liver also detoxifies chemicals.
  4. It metabolizes drugs.

Important functions of Liver

What are the 3 important functions of the liver?

The important functions of the liver are as under:

  1. Excretion of bilirubin, cholesterol, hormones, and drugs from the human body,
  2. Metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins,
  3. Production of bile and excretion.

Where is my liver in my body?

The liver is located in the upper right-hand portion of the abdominal cavity, beneath the diaphragm and on top of the stomach, right kidney, and intestines.

Is the liver a gland or an organ?

The liver is vital organ of human body which is responsible for various chemical reactions. It is also a gland because it secretes chemicals that are used by other parts of the human body.

Signs and symptoms of alcoholic liver disease

What are the first signs of liver damage from alcohol?

Signs and symptoms of alcoholic liver disease are:

  1. Digestive issues,
  2. Vomiting,
  3. Fatigue,
  4. Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes).
  5. Loss of appetite,
  6. Low-grade fever,
  7. Nausea,
  8. Tenderness in the right upper abdomen,
  9. Weight loss.

How long does it take to have liver damage from alcohol?

People increase the risk of alcoholic liver disease with the use of wine. About half the men who drink more than 8 ounces of alcohol a day for 20 years develop scar tissues or cirrhosis.

How much alcohol can the liver handle?

Liver can process one ounce of liquor in one hour. If you consume more liquor, your system becomes saturated, and the additional alcohol will accumulate in the blood and body tissues until it can be metabolized.

Can the liver recover from alcohol?

When alcohol harms the liver, the liver tries to heal itself. Prolonged alcohol use disrupts the healing process of the liver which causes hepatitis and cirrhosis.

Can the liver repair itself after years of drinking?

If the liver damage is in early stages, then you can reverse it by avoiding alcohol. Healing process can begin as early as a few days to weeks after you stop taking alcohol. However, if the liver damage is severe, healing can take several months.This is known as liver cirrhosis.

Is it bad to drink vodka every day?

Drinking too much vodka affects immune system and increases the risk for some cancers, such as cancer of the mouth, esophagus, throat cancer, liver and breast cancer. It can affect your immune system. If you drink every day, you might notice that you catch colds, flu or other illnesses more frequently than abstemious people.

Is vodka harmful for sperm?

“Excessive alcohol lowers down testosterone levels and sperm quality and quantity in men. It can also reduce libido, and cause impotence”, says Dr Patrick O’Brien, spokesperson for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Warning signs of Liver cancer

What are the warning signs of liver cancer?

Signs and symptoms of Liver Cancer include the following:

  1. Abdominal swelling.
  2. Jaundice.
  3. Loss of appetite.
  4. Nausea and vomiting.
  5. Upper abdominal pain.
  6. Weight loss.
  7. Weakness and fatigue.
  8. White, chalky stools.
  9. Yellow pale skin

What is the life expectancy of metastatic liver cancer?

In advanced or stage 4 cancer, the prognosis for liver metastases tends to be poor, with a roughly 11% survival rate for 5 years. Treatments can help reduce the symptoms and shrink the tumor, but there is no cure for liver metastases, typically.

Can the liver heal itself?

Liver is capable of replacing damaged tissue with new cells. If 50-60 percent of the liver cells may be killed within three to four days in an extreme case like a Tylenol overdose, the liver will repair completely after 30 days if no complications arise.

What is the rarest form of liver cancer?

Fibrolamellar HCC is a rare type of liver cancer that usually affects younger people. The causes and risk factors of  Fibrolamellar HCC are not known.

What is the most aggressive form of liver cancer?

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), also called hepatoma, is the most common type of liver cancer which accounts for 75 percent of all liver cancers.

How long are you in the hospital after liver resection?

After having a liver resection most people stay in the hospital for 5 to 7 days.

Liver cancer
A large liver mass and human digestive system

Liver cancer nutrition guidelines

What does a diet plan look like?

Liver cancer nutrition guidelines:


  • 1 Sliced banana,
  • 8 oz. hot oatmeal mixed with almond butter,
  • 1 Cup coffee with low fat


  • Apple,
  • Baked potato,
  • Cooked broccoli,
  • Carrots or other vegetables,
  • Spinach salad,
  • Grilled chicken,
  • Glass of milk.


  • Cooked broccoli,
  • Mixed berries,
  • Mixed bean salad,
  • Glass of milk,
  • Grilled salmon.

Is jamun good for liver?

Jambul, jamun, jaman, or black plum contain several nutrients and vitamins that help fight cancer, diabetes, infections and liver problems. Jamun juice has bio-active phytochemicals that minimize the risk of liver disease and cancer.

Is starfruit good for your liver?

Starfruit contains antioxidants such as gallic acid, quercetin, and epicatechin. Experiments on mice show that the compounds in star fruit reduce fatty liver risk and cholesterol.

Is Guava good for the liver?

Guava is a rich source of anti-inflammation and antioxidant compounds hence preventing cholestatic liver injuries. Cholestatic liver damage is a leading cause of chronic liver diseases involved with oxidative stress changes and inflammation.

Is Egg good for liver cancer?

Egg is among beneficial food choices to boost immune system. It also promotes healing process.

Is turmeric good for the liver?

As turmeric is antioxidant in nature so it improves liver functions. It may stop liver from being damaged by toxins. People who have hurt their liver by prolonged use of strong drugs for diabetes or other health conditions must use turmeric as it is good for liver.

Is cranberry juice good for your liver?

Cranberry juice is packed with nutrients that are beneficial for upset stomachs, urinary infections and liver problems. Cranberry juice is also helpful to cope up with infections and it is best for your health.

Does coffee help repair your liver? Is coffee good for your liver?

Studies have found that people who drank coffee had lower risk of liver disease. It Might Help Protect Your Liver as it has a wide range of antioxidants. Morning coffee is the nice thing to keep liver healthy. Coffee repairs cellular damage and also reduces inflammation. So coffee may help repair the liver in various ways.

Is honey good for the liver?

Honey has antibacterial and antioxidant properties due to its phenolic compounds. It has been found that honey leads to increased levels of NO in biological fluids and to reduced liver enzymes, such as AST and ALT, in blood.

Is Mango good for liver?

To avoid stomach and liver related diseases, eat raw mango pieces. Raw mango with salt helps overcome thirst and also reduces the effects of sunstroke. Raw mangoes contain more vitamins C and B than ripe mangoes.

Are sardines good for the liver?

Sardines, salmon, trout, and tuna are rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids lower the levels of fat in the liver and can decrease inflammation. Sardines are fibre-rich so they lower blood cholesterol levels and combat fatty liver.

Is pickle juice good for liver?

Drinking pickle juice can boost your intake of antioxidants. It is also beneficial in diabetes, muscle cramps and weight loss.

Is coconut oil good for the liver?

Coconut oil contains healthy saturated fats that are a quick source of energy for the liver. These fats also control other fats in your diet and affect positively upon liver health. Coconut Oil has fatty acids that have medicinal importance.

Are Cokes bad for your liver? What is bad for your liver?

Some studies show that sugar can be as damaging to the liver as alcohol. So you must limit foods with added sugars, such as soda, pastries, and candy. Too much refined sugar and high-fructose corn syrup can lead to liver disease.

Is Diet Coke bad for the liver?

Use of Coca-Cola and Diet Coke study increase the risk of fatty liver.

Is ice cream bad for liver?

People with fatty liver disease must avoid or limit certain foods such as candy, ice cream, sweetened beverages, such as soda and fruit drinks. Added sugars contribute to high blood sugar levels and increase fat in the liver.

Is Bacon bad for your liver?

Eating a lot of processed meat and bacon may cause serious liver damage and insulin resistance, a precursor to Type 2 diabetes.

Is it safe to eat liver every day?

Liver is nutritious and healthy and it contains vital nutrients but it should not be consumed daily. Eating it once per week is enough. It is very rich in vitamin A and copper, which may cause problems in excessive amounts.

Does exercise help repair liver?

Exercise strengthens the human immune system and reduces the risk of liver cancer. It also avoids obesity thus helps liver in this way.

What does vitamin A liver do?

The liver is responsible for the storage, metabolism and distribution of vitamin A to peripheral tissues. Long-term alcohol intake results in reduced levels of retinoic acid, which may promote the development of liver tumor. 

Stages of Liver cancer

Liver cancer is divided into 4 main stages ranging from 1 to 4.

Four stages of liver cancer diagnosis: 

  • Stage 1: Cancer is relatively small and is contained within the organ it started in.
  • Stage 2: Cancer has not spread into surrounding tissue but the tumor is larger than in stage 1. Sometimes stage 2 means that cancer cells have spread into lymph nodes close to the tumour.
  • Stage 3: Cancer is larger and it may have started to spread into surrounding tissues and there are cancer cells in the lymph nodes in the area.
  • Stage 4: It means the cancer has spread from where it started to another body organ. This is also called metastatic cancer or secondary cancer.

Can cancer be removed from the liver?

Small liver cancers may be cured with ablation or radiation treatments. The best option to cure liver cancer is with either surgical resection (removal of the tumor with surgery) or a liver transplant.

What happens when you have cancer of the liver?

Liver cancer is a cancer that starts in the liver and it affects metabolism, immune system, and other vital organs. The liver makes bile to help the body use food but when cells in the liver grow out of control, they crowd out normal cells.

Does liver cancer spread quickly?

Advanced liver cancer does not often metastasize (or travel to distant organs), but when it does, it is most likely to spread to the lungs and bones. Stage IV liver cancer is the cancer that has spread to nearby lymph nodes and may have grown into nearby blood vessels or organs.

How long do you have to live with liver cancer?

With proper treatment, 50 to 70 percent will survive for 5 years or more but without treatment, the median survival for stage A liver cancer is 3 years.

The overall death rate due to liver cancer has more than doubled from 1980 to 2019.

For men, it is the fifth most common cause of cancer death while liver cancer is the seventh most common cause of cancer death among women. Men are about 3 times more likely than women to be diagnosed with the liver cancer. 

In the U.S, an estimated 29,480 men and 12,550 women will be diagnosed with primary liver cancer.

An estimated that 31,780 deaths (21,600 men and 10,180 women) from this disease will occur this year.

What are the final stages of liver cancer?

Symptoms of end-stage liver cancer

  • Appetite loss
  • Bleeding or bruising.
  • Intense itching.
  • Nausea.
  • Problems with concentration and memory.
  • Persistent yellowing of your skin and eyes (jaundice)
  • Swelling due to fluid buildup in your abdomen and legs.

What are Dos and Don’t If you have liver disease?

Here is a quick list of do’s and don’ts:


  • Eat plenty of garlic
  • Eat foods high in Omega-3, like fish, nuts, sardines, and olive oil
  • Eat foods high in fiber like oatmeal
  • Eat acidic fruits like grapefruit, berries, grapes, lemons, and oranges
  • Eat lots of vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, and green leafy vegetables
  • Drink coffee.
  • Drink green tea
  • Maintain a plant-based diet as much as possible


  • Consume a lot of fatty animal proteins
  • Drink soda
  • Drink alcohol
  • Eat a lot of processed sugar or salt
  • Eat starchy foods like breads, pasta, or cakes.
  • Eat foods high in fat

How to Repair Your Liver Naturally?

If you want to heal your liver naturally then drink a lot of water. Healing your liver means that you are taking steps to heal your physical body from the damage caused by alcohol. Usually we eat things that cont ain water in them then we say that we have completed our need of water. But its not so, as you must drink just pure water, just water.

Liver is responsible for the flushing of toxins so drinking lots of water cleanses the system of toxins. It hydrates your body also.

How long can liver cancer go undetected?

Liver cancer is most often detected at an advanced stage. Only around one in every five people live for at least a year after being diagnosed with liver cancer, and just 1 in every 20 people live at least a further five years.

Is dying from liver failure painful?

The first symptoms of liver failure are nausea, loss of appetite, fatigue, and diarrhea. With the progress of liver failure, the symptoms become more serious. The patient may become disoriented and confused, and very sleepy. There is a risk of coma and death.

Is there a lot of pain with liver cancer?

Liver cancer pain is commonly focused on the top right of the abdominal area, near the right shoulder blade. The pain can sometimes extend into the back.The pain might also be accompanied by swelling in the abdomen and in the legs and ankles. This type of swelling causes discomfort in cancer patient.

What happens to your body when you have liver cancer?

Liver cancer is a cancer that starts in the liver due to change and unchecked growth of cancer cells. This makes it hard for the body to work the right way as normal cells are crowded out with cancerous cells.

What cancer can spread to liver?

Melanoma usually spreads through the body’s blood vessels to the liver. Liver metastases are sometimes present when the primary cancer is diagnosed, or it may occur months or years after the primary tumor is removed. After the lymph nodes, the liver is the most common site of metastatic spread of cancer.

Can part of liver be removed?

Lobectomy, involves removal of 35 to 65 percent of the liver, while leaving the healthy lobe to expand and regrow the organ. This operation involves resection of one entire lobe and a portion of the opposite lobe. Anywhere from 50 to 85 percent of the liver may be resected in this procedure.

Is liver cancer a death sentence?

The liver is also the site where other cancers spread. This condition is called as liver metastases. Breast cancer, bile duct cancer, colorectal cancer, and pancreatic cancer are some of the cancers that can spread to the liver if they are in an advanced stage. If it is caught early then a diagnosis of liver cancer need not be a death sentence.

How do you know if your liver is failing?

Signs and symptoms of acute liver failure

  • Abdominal swelling,
  • Yellowing of skin and eyeballs (jaundice),
  • Pain in upper right abdomen

Can liver grow back after surgery if you donate your liver?

After surgery, your liver will regenerate back to its full size, in a few months. It will return to your pre-donation level of health. The other person’s new liver will also grow to full size, leaving both people with healthy and functioning livers.

What is the difference between liver cancer and cirrhosis?

Cirrhosis is a disease condition in which liver cells become damaged and are replaced by scar tissues. People with cirrhosis have an increased risk of liver cancer. Most people who develop liver cancer already have some evidence of cirrhosis.

What are the Risk factors for liver cancer?

The exact cause of liver cancer may not be known, several factors may increase the risk of developing the disease. People with a family history of the liver cancer or other risk factors should talk with their doctor about steps they can take to monitor or reduce their risk.

Risk factors for liver cancer

General Risks

Age: In the United States, the average age at onset of liver cancer is 63 years.

Gender: Male are more likely to develop liver cancer than female, by a ratio of 2 to 1.

Race and ethnicity: In the US, liver cancer rates are highest in Pacific islanders and in Asian Americans while white Americans have the lowest risk for liver cancer.


Heavy use of alcohol: Alcohol abuse is a common cause of cirrhosis, which increases the risks of liver cancer.

Smoking: Tobacco use may increase the risk of developing liver cancer.

Arsenic: Chronic exposure to naturally occurring arsenic through drinking water from certain contaminated wells increases the risk of developing certain forms of liver cancer.

Aflatoxins: Aflatoxins are cancer causing substances made by a fungus that contaminate wheat, rice, corn, soybeans, and some types of nuts. Long-term exposure to aflatoxins is a major liver cancer risk factor, especially in people with hepatitis B or C infections.

Anabolic steroids: Long-term use of anabolic steroids may increase the risk of developing liver cancer. Anabolic steroids are used by athletes to increase strength.

Exposure to certain chemicals: Some chemicals also cause the risk of liver cancer such as exposure to vinyl chloride and thorium dioxide may increase the risk of angiosarcoma of the liver. People working in plastic factories may also suffer from liver cancer.

Obesity: Being obese may increase the chances of developing liver cancer, probably through development of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH, a fatty liver disease often seen in obese people who consume little or no alcohol) and finally, cirrhosis.

Other conditions

Cirrhosis of the liver: Cirrhosis occurs when liver cells become damaged and are replaced by scar tissues. In most cases people who develop HCC have underlying cirrhosis. People with cirrhosis have an increased risk of liver cancer. 

Metabolic diseases: Certain genetic metabolic diseases may cause cirrhosis and increase the chances of developing liver cancer. 

Here are the diseases that increase the risk of liver cancer:

  1. Glycogen storage disease,
  2. Having diabetes may also increase the risk of developing liver cancer.
  3. Genetic hemochromatosis is a disease that stores iron throughout the body including the liver,
  4. porphyria cutanea tarda (deficiency in heme synthesis),
  5. Tyrosinemia (elevated levels of the amino acid tyrosine), and
  6. Wilson disease is a condition in which copper levels increase in the liver.

What are the Survival Rate for liver cancer by age?

  1. 5 year survival for liver cancer is higher in younger people as compared to older people.
  2. In people aged 75 and over, around 5%  people diagnosed with liver cancer survive their cancer for 5 years or more.
  3. In England, around 35% people aged between 15 and 39, survive their liver cancer for 5 years or more.

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