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Liver cancer

The most frequent kind of liver cancer is metastasis to the liver, often from colon or rectal cancer, but cancer can also originate in the liver.

Primary liver cancer is separated into:

  • Hepatocellular carcinoma – HCC (90 %)
  • Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma – IHCC (10 %)

The liver is the largest internal organ in the body and weighs about 1.5 kg in an adult. It is located in the upper right hypochondrium under the diaphragm. The liver is separated into two lobes, right and left, where the right lobe is the largest. The branches of the right and left portal vein indicate the right and left lobes of the liver. Most of the surface of the liver is covered by peritoneum.   

Liver - Essential facts


HCC is is one of the most common cancer diseases on a global basis. HCC occurs most commonly among men. IHCC is not as common as HCC, however the frequency is increasing. Liver and intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma represents 2.3% of all new cancer cases in the United States. In 2017, it is estimated that there will be 40,710 new cases of liver and intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma in the United States (10).



Age-specific incidence of liver cancer, 2009–2013.

Source: Cancer Registry of Norway



Incidence of liver cancer, 1954–2013.

Source: Cancer Registry of Norway

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