Liver Cancer

Liver cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide, and is the most common type of cancer in many countries in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. In the United States, the disease is far less common, accounting for about 23,000 deaths each year.
What is Liver Cancer?
The two basic types of liver cancer are primary (originating in the liver) and metastatic (originating elsewhere and spreading to the liver).
About 75 percent of adult primary liver cancers are called hepatocellular carcinoma  (HCC), which begins in the hepatocytes, the cells that make up the main tissue of the liver. HCC sometimes starts as a single tumor and spreads to other parts of the liver, or it may develop as nodules at several different places in the liver.
From 10 percent to 20 percent of primary liver cancers are bile duct cancers (intrahepatic cholangiocarcinomas), which begin in the bile ducts that connect the liver to the gallbladder.
Angiosarcoma and hemangiosarcoma are rare forms of primary liver cancer, which originate in the organ’s blood vessels.
Cancers originating in other areas of the body can spread (metastasize) to the liver. These cancers are generally identified and treated according to the site of origin. For example, if cancer originates in the pancreas and spreads to the liver, the disease is identified and treated as pancreatic cancer.
How Can Houston Methodist Help?
At the Houston Methodist Cancer Center  we are dedicated to providing comprehensive diagnosis and treatment options that deliver the best possible results for all types of cancer.
Our continued commitment to research enables us to improve present and future cancer care. Learn about our current cancer-related clinical trials.