Cancer Center
Chief Physician

Metastatic Liver Cancer

Professor MD Wolfgang Hoffmann

Chief Physician

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Statistics 2017
  • 1882 patient admission
  • 15 physicians
  • 52 medical staff
  • 1688 not complex chemotherapy
  • 314 moderately complex and intensive block chemotherapy
  • 359 highly complex and intensive block chemotherapy
  • 284 other immunotherapy

Metastatic Liver Cancer

Metastatic cancer is secondary cancer that travels from initial lesion throughout the body. The liver is one of the common sites of appearing of metastases. Although primary cancer also can occur in liver but metastatic cancer is more common.

Metastatic liver cancer has quite low survival rate as it is normally produced by cancer at stage 4 in another part of the body. More often metastases are spread to the liver by breast cancer stage 4 or colon cancer stage 4. But in any case, there are always some treatment options. Earlier you detect it more chances for survival you have.

How Metastases Develop?

Appearing of secondary tumors (metastases) is long and unpredictable process. It is considered it follows according to below scheme:

  1. Cancer cells in primary lesion start growing into neighboring healthy tissues
  2. Cancer cells penetrate through the walls of lymph nodes and blood vessels
  3. Cancer cells travel using lymphatic and blood system to the other parts of the body
  4. Cancer cells stop in a certain distant location
  5. Cancer cells grow and form a new small tumor (micrometastases)
  6. Micrometastases stimulate appearing of new vessels supplying neoplasm with blood and nutrition

Finally, in distant location new malignant lesion appears.

Symptoms of Metastatic Liver Cancer

In early stages liver cancer can cause no symptoms. When it comes to advanced stage it may lead to symptoms as following:

  • Swelling of the liver
  • Dark colored urine
  • Yellowish color of the skin and eyes whites
  • Pain in the upper right abdomen
  • Bloating and swelling of the abdomen
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unexpected weight loss
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Fever and sweating

Metastatic Liver Cancer Diagnostics

If any suspicion for metastatic liver cancer it is important to undertake complete diagnostics to reveal possible secondary cancerous lesion. For these purposes a doctor uses the following means:

  • Blood tests
  • CT scan of abdomen
  • MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)
  • Ultrasound diagnostics
  • Angiogram with use of contrast agents
  • Laparoscopy for taking biopsy

Metastatic Liver Cancer Treatment

There are a number of options for metastatic liver cancer as:

  • System therapy when treatment is carried out through blood flow. This includes chemotherapy, biological response modifier with use of antibodies, targeted therapy and hormonal therapy.
  • Localized therapy that includes radiation therapy, radiofrequency ablation.
  • Surgery.

Surgery for Metastatic Liver Cancer

Surgery for metastatic cancer in liver is used when a tumor is small and well localized. In this case operation of liver resection is possible.

The surgery on liver is a challenge for surgeon as there are many blood vessels passing through the liver. Another reason that it is easily possible to damage the liver as its tissue is rather tender. Liver resection is usually performed by experienced surgeon. It is more often done in open surgery and takes 2-3 hours. In case if metastatic cancer has spread from the colon the removal of primary and secondary tumors can be done in one surgery. When surgery is followed with chemotherapy it increases chances for survival.

Metastatic Cancer Prognosis

There is no certain prognosis for metastatic liver cancer as it depends on numerous factors as location and success in treatment of primary lesion, stage of revealing type of the tumor and others. You should keep in your mind that spreading of metastases is always means advanced stage cancer.

Treatment of Metastatic Cancer in Clinic of Braunschweig

Cancer Center of Braunschweig is multidisciplinary institution for treatment of cancer of any type and any extent. We always have our goal in increasing of life expectancy and improving of patient’s quality of life. Working together with our colleagues from Radiology Department and Surgery Clinic we do our best to give our patients comprehensive service according to their diagnosis and degree of the problem.

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