Liver Cancer Network
There is no consensus regarding the optimal treatment of patients with liver tumors. This contributes to the pessimistic attitude that many have regarding the treatment of liver cancer. Aggressive treatment strategies can cure or significantly prolong the life of many patients with liver cancer.
The liver is a common site of metastases from a variety of organs such as lung, breast, colon and rectum. When liver metastases occur at the time of initial diagnosis of the primary tumor, they are described as synchronous. If detected after the initial diagnosis, they are described as metachronous. The liver is frequently involved since it receives blood from the abdominal organs via the portal vein. Malignant cells detach from the primary cancer, enter the bloodstream or lymphatic channels, travel to the liver, and grow independently. We do not understand the mechanism of how a tumor cell can leave the primary site and grow in specific organs. Potentially, the environment of the liver is suitable to the growth of certain tumor cells. Once a tumor begins to grow in the liver, it receives its blood supply from the hepatic artery.
Copyright © 2008 West Penn Allegheny Health System. All rights reserved.