Lung Cancer Spreads to Liver (Prognosis)

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Non-small cell lung cancer

When non-small cell has spread to the liver, it is categorized into stage IV (metastatic stage). And unfortunately, the prognosis and survival rate for this stage are usually much lower.

This non-small cell carcinoma has several sub-types. Although some sub-types are quite slowly to grow and spread, but others can also be aggressive! In fact, non-small cell carcinoma of lung cancer is also quite common to be diagnosed at advanced stages.

According to a worldwide statistic, there is only about 2-13 percent (between 2 and 13 out of 100 patients with stage IV non-small lung cancer) will survive 5 years or more after the diagnosis.

Small cell lung cancer

It is likely to become an aggressive cancer. In fact, most cases are advanced when first diagnosed. Only about 30 percents of the cases are diagnosed early (the cancer has not spread yet).

In addition, it is an exclusive form of lung cancer found in smokers. It is very rare in non-smokers. Doctors also label it into two main categories; when it has not spread beyond the lungs (limited category) and when it has spread beyond the lungs (extensive category).

The prognosis and 5-year survival rate for extensive category is not more than 5 percent. When cancer cells have spread beyond the lungs, most of patients (about 95 percent or more) cannot survive more than 5 years after their diagnosis.

The prognosis and survival rate can decrease significantly when the cancer cells have spread to a distant organ such as liver (stage IV). Only about 1 percent (1 out of every 100 patients) with stage IV small cell will live 5 years or more. This is lower than what we find in non-small cell.

It seems that the prognosis of the disease is closely dependent on the stage of the cancer and how aggressive it is.

What else that can affect the prognosis?

The prognosis of the advanced lung cancer that spreads to liver may also be affected by other factors. One of them may be your general health (how well you are overall)!

Other factors may include:

  1. The kind of treatment you can take. Each treatment has different benefits, drawbacks, and also carries side effects. Discuss these with your doctor for more guidance!
  2. How your cancer responds to the treatment, as noted before.
  3. Your age.
  4. Whether or not other parts of the body are affected by the cancer.
Citations /references:


  1. Marge Jacques
    March 8, 2019 | Reply
    • Endi Ssi
      March 14, 2019 | Reply
  2. Patty
    January 10, 2020 | Reply

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