Cancer survival rates are usually discussed in terms of 5-year relative survival, which refers to the proportion of patients still alive five years after diagnosis. Keep in mind that statistics like these are based on large groups of people and cannot predict what might happen with an individual patient. You are not a statistic.
In addition, most current national data is from patients diagnosed in 2015-2019, which doesn’t reflect the impact of recent treatment advances.
In the United States, the overall 5-year relative survival among people diagnosed with liver and intrahepatic bile duct (bile ducts within the liver) cancer — including all stages of disease —is 20.8%. The National Cancer Institute records survival rates using these very broad categories:
- Localized. In patients with early-stage cancers, that are confined to the primary site, 5-year survival is 36.1%.
- Regional. For patients with disease that has spread to regional lymph nodes at the time of diagnosis, 5-year survival is 12.8%.
- Distant disease. Among patients with disease that has spread to distant body areas at the time of diagnosis, 5-year survival is 3.1%.
Learn more liver cancer survival statistics from the National Cancer Institute.
Factors that affect your prognosis
Along with the stage of your cancer, the next most important factor that can affect your personal outcome is whether or not your cancer can be effectively treated with surgery. In addition, your age, underlying health conditions — and whether you have chronic liver disease and damage, such as from cirrhosis — play a role.
How Roswell Park optimizes your survival
As a national leader in cancer care, Roswell Park’s approach includes several key components that maximize survival and quality of life, including:
- Surgery from experienced hepatobiliary surgeons who perform a high volume, more than 100, of these complex operations each year.
- Strategies to render more tumors resectable (operable). For patients with advanced disease that is considered borderline resectable, we offer several preoperative (or, neoadjuvant) options that may shrink or downsize the tumor and make effective surgery possible for you.
- Liver-directed therapies such as embolization, ablation and focused radiation therapies that offer effective cancer control without decreasing quality of life.
- Unique access to the latest emerging treatments for liver cancer through clinical trials.
Yes, you have time for a second opinion
We understand the urgency of a cancer diagnosis and your desire to move quickly. However, very few diagnoses require that treatment or surgery occur immediately. The fastest treatment is not always the best treatment, and you owe it to yourself to take time now to ensure your treatment plan is the right one for you. We can help.