Liver cancer is cancer that begins in liver cells. The liver is an organ about the size of a soccer ball that is located in the upper right part of the abdomen, below the diaphragm and above the stomach.
Several types of cancer can form in the liver. The most common type of liver cancer is hepatocellular carcinoma, which begins in the main type of liver cell (hepatocyte). Other types of liver cancer, such as intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma and hepatoblastoma, are much less common.
Cancer that spreads to the liver is more common than cancer that begins in liver cells. Cancer that begins in another area of the body, such as the colon, lung, or breasts, and then spreads to the liver, is called metastatic cancer instead of liver cancer. This type of cancer is named after the organ in which it started, such as metastatic colon cancer, to describe cancer that begins in the colon and spreads to the liver.
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