As liver cancer progresses to stage 4, the cancerous cells begin to spread to other parts of the body. The liver itself may become enlarged and start to fail. Symptoms at this stage can include:
Nausea and vomiting
Loss of appetite
Swelling in the abdomen
Fluid in the abdomen
As the cancer spreads, it can also cause pain in other areas of the body. The cancer can also compress or block the veins that carry blood from the liver, causing a buildup of toxins in the blood (hepatic encephalopathy).
At this stage, liver cancer is very difficult to treat. Surgery is often not an option, and chemotherapy and radiation may only be able to extend a person’s life for a short time. Hospice care is often recommended to help manage symptoms and provide support for both the patient and their family.
Most people are aware that cancer is a serious illness, but few know just how devastating it can be. Stage 4 liver cancer is one of the most advanced stages of the disease, and patients often have very few treatment options available to them.
The liver is a vital organ that helps to filter toxins out of the body. Cancer that starts in the liver (known as primary liver cancer) is relatively rare, but it can be very aggressive. Liver cancer that spreads to other parts of the body (known as metastatic liver cancer) is more common, and is often much more difficult to treat.
At stage 4, the cancer has spread throughout the liver and to other organs, such as the lungs or stomach. This means that the tumor is large and aggressive, and that the patient has a very limited life expectancy. There are few treatment options available for stage 4 liver cancer, and the prognosis is usually very bleak.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with stage 4 liver cancer, it is important to seek out the best possible care. There are a few experimental treatments that may be available, and clinical trials are always ongoing. It is important to stay positive and fight for every day, despite the odds.