Survival statistics for liver cancer are very general estimates and must be interpreted very carefully. Because these statistics are based on the experience of groups of people, they cannot be used to predict a particular person’s chances of survival.
There are many different ways to measure and report cancer survival statistics. Your doctor can explain the statistics for liver cancer and what they mean to you.
Relative survival looks at how likely people with cancer are to survive after their diagnosis compared to people in the general population who do not have cancer, but who share similar characteristics (such as age and sex).
In Canada, a 5-year relative survival statistic is reported for liver cancer. The 5-year relative survival for liver cancer is 20%. This means that, on average, people diagnosed with liver cancer are 20% as likely to live 5 years after their diagnosis as people in the general population.
Survival varies with each stage of liver cancer. The following factors can also affect survival for liver cancer.
There are no specific Canadian statistics available for the median survival of different stages of liver cancer. The following information comes from a variety of sources and may include statistics from other countries.
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Median 5-year survival is 40%–70%, if treated with liver resection, radiofrequency ablation, or RFA, (for tumours 2 cm or less) or liver transplant.
Median survival is 16 months. It may increase to 20 months with transarterial chemoembolization (TACE).
Median survival is 8 months. It may increase to 11 months with targeted therapy.
Median survival is 3 months.
Talk to your doctor about prognosis. Prognosis depends on many factors, including:
Only a doctor familiar with these factors can put all of this information together with survival statistics to arrive at a prognosis.
The Canadian Cancer Society provides helpful information about government income programs, financial resources and other resources available to families struggling to make sense of the personal financial burden they face.