Liver Cancer

What Is It?

Liver cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the liver.

The liver:

  • Helps blood to clot

  • Removes or neutralizes poisons, drugs and alcohol

  • Helps the body to absorb fats and cholesterol

  • Helps to maintain normal blood sugar levels

  • Regulates hormones

Most liver tumors in the United States spread to the liver from other places in the body. This is referred to as secondary liver cancer or metastatic cancer. For example, cancer that has spread to the liver from the lungs is called "metastatic lung cancer."

The liver is the most common place for cancer to spread. In patients with secondary liver cancer, doctors treat patients for the original site of the cancer. So metastatic lung cancer that has spread to the liver would be treated as lung cancer, not liver cancer.

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