Liver and bile duct cancer

Primary liver and bile duct cancers are the fifth most common cause of cancer death for men in the United States. They are the ninth most common cause of cancer death in women.

More than 90 percent of liver and bile duct cancers occur in men and women who are 45 years or older.

Since the bile duct is a tube through which bile passes in and out of the liver, bile duct cancer is closely associated with liver cancer.

Types of liver cancer

There are two general types of liver cancer, which can also affect the bile duct.

  • Primary liver cancer comes from the tissues of the liver. You may hear a doctor call it hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), hepatoma cancer or primary liver cell carcinoma. The cancer usually begins with liver disease or scarring of the liver (cirrhosis).
  • Metastatic liver cancer has spread to the liver from another organ. Cancer tumors that start in the colon often go to the liver.

Liver cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the world.

The Virginia Piper Cancer Institute is particularly equipped to fight liver cancer. Whether they are providing early detection services, are implementing targeted treatments directly to the liver, or are performing surgeries to remove tumors, the staff at Virginia Piper are the best in their field at battling liver cancer from all angles.

Related services

Source: National Cancer Institute, Liver Cancer; Virginia Piper Cancer Institute
Reviewed By: Timothy Sielaff, MD, PhD, FACS, medical director, Virginia Piper Cancer Institute
First Published: 08/26/2009
Last Reviewed: 08/26/2009