Hepatocellular carcinoma

Alternative Names

Primary liver cell carcinoma; Tumor – liver; Liver cancer; Cancer – liver

Definition of Hepatocellular carcinoma

Hepatocellular carcinoma is cancer of the liver.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Hepatocellular carcinoma accounts for most liver cancers. This type of cancer occurs more often in men than women. It is usually seen in people ages 50 – 60.

Signs and tests

Physical examination may show an enlarged, tender liver.

Treatment

Aggressive surgery or a liver transplant can successfully treat small or slow-growing tumors if they are diagnosed early. However, few patients are diagnosed early.

Expectations (prognosis)

The usual outcome is poor, because only 10 – 20% of hepatocellular carcinomas can be removed completely using surgery.

Review

David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; and Yi-Bin Chen, MD, Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 8/9/2009

Digestive system
Liver biopsy
Hepatocellular cancer, CT scan

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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