Factors that Affect Stage 4 Liver Cancer Life Expectancy
In determining a patient’s stage 4 liver cancer life expectancy, the medical practitioner often takes into consideration several factors instead of giving out random generic numbers. It is most often case-to-case and is largely dependent on the following factors -
- Stage of liver cancer
- Type of liver cancer
- Response to treatment
- Over-all general health of patient
Currently, stage 4 liver cancer life expectancy is the third lowest among all the cancers at 10.2 percent with pancreatic cancer topping it with a 4.4 percent survival rate for a 5-year period. This is closely followed by mesothelioma with 7.2 percent. This is a stark contrast from testes cancer which has a 95.5 percent 5-year survival rate. This means that for every 100 person diagnosed with stage 4 liver cancer, only seven individuals will have lived past five years from diagnosis. If the American Cancer Society’s 2012 record is to be believed and out of the 28,720 new cases of liver cancer projected, there would be only 2,010 patients who will survive past the 2017 based on the stage 4 liver cancer life expectancy.
How Stages and Types of Liver Cancer Affect the Stage 4 Liver Cancer Life Expectancy
Generally, early stages of liver cancer would provide you with a higher life expectancy. Aside from providing you with more treatment options, there will be little side effects to affect the patient’s daily routine or over-all general health. In the mid-stage of liver cancer, in the event the liver was successfully transplanted or tumor was removed completely, the 5-year life expectancy increases to 75 percent. However, the stage 4 liver cancer life expectancy is about three to four months without treatment while it can extend upto 16 to 18 months with treatments.
Moreover, medical practitioner categorize the stages into treatment stages but this is also dependent on the stage of liver cancer. There are three treatment stages that medical practitioners use. The first stage is the localized resectable which is used to refer to a patient whose cancerous cells are confined only in the liver and can be removed completely with surgery. The second stage is the localized and locally advanced unresectable in which the patient’s cancerous cells are still confined within the liver but cannot be remove with surgery alone. The third stage is the advanced stage which is used to describe the cancer has having spread from the liver to other parts of the body.
The type of liver cancer also affects the stage 4 liver cancer life expectancy of the individual. Ten to twenty percent of the time, hepatocelluar carcinoma falls under the second or third treatment stage which often means a poor prognosis unlike the hepatoblastoma which has a significantly better life expectancy rate than HCC.
The treatment to improve stage 4 liver cancer life expectancy would depend on to which organs the cancer has spread, the size of the cancerous cells and the over-all health of the patient. It is also important to determine the extent of the liver damage done by the cancerous cells because a liver that has an intact liver function has a optimistic stage 4 liver cancer life expectancy over someone who has an impaired liver function regardless of the stage of liver cancer.
Unfortunately, liver transplant may not be enough to improve the stage 4 liver cancer life expectancy as it would have already spread to the other organs. Often, medical practitioners would suggest patients to undergo clinical trials to hopefully improve the stage 4 liver cancer life expectancy. These clinical trials do not guarantee a cure and you also take the risk of making you worst off than when you started. However, these clinical trials are crucial to pave the wave for future cure and treatment.
Experts also add that sometimes, alternative therapies work wonders if combined with conventional treatment can improve stage 4 liver cancer life expectancy. It would include following a healthy and nutritional diet that includes fruits, vegetables, fish and whole grain to increase the immune system. A low salt and sugar diet is also in order to prevent the condition from worsening and this includes junk food and processed food. However, when all else fails, palliative therapy is done to minimize the pain brought about by the disease and aid in improving the quality of life.
After all that has been said, don’t forget that all these numbers are based on historical data and are not carved in stone. Each case is still unique and it only serves as a guide in case you are wondering what is the stage 4 liver cancer life expectancy.
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