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Can I Survive Liver Cancer? What Is My Prognosis?

Survival rates show the percentage of people with a certain type and stage of cancer who survive it for a certain period of time after they are diagnosed. A five-year survival rate is the percentage of people who are alive at least�five years after they are diagnosed. These are the people it includes:

  • Those who are free of disease (there are no signs of cancer)

  • Those who have few or no signs or symptoms of cancer

  • Those who are still undergoing treatment for cancer

Many people included in the five-year survival rate live much longer than�five years after diagnosis. Also, because the statistic is based on people diagnosed and initially treated more than�five years ago, it's possible that the outlook could be better today. People who are newly diagnosed often have a more favorable outlook. That is because of improvements in treatment.

Survival rates are based on large groups of people. They cannot be used to predict what will happen to a particular person. No two people are exactly alike. Treatment and responses to treatment vary greatly.

The overall five-year survival rate�for all stages of�liver cancer combined�is about 15 percent, according to the American Cancer Society. The five-year survival rate for people with early stage cancer that can be removed with surgery and who do not have cirrhosis or other major health problems�is�over 50�percent. When cancer has spread throughout the liver or to distant sites, the five-year survival rate is 2 percent.