An outline of a woman's liver to highlight where it resides in the body

What Is Liver Metastasis & How Does It Affect You?

The liver is the largest internal organ in the body and has several important functions, including absorbing and breaking down nutrients and filtering or removing toxic substances from the blood. Unfortunately, the liver is a common site for metastases, so learn more about what liver metastasis is below, in addition to some of the treatment options you have available.

What is liver metastasis?

Liver metastasis, better known as liver metastases, are cancerous tumours that spread to your liver from another part of your body. Depending on the nature and location of the original tumour, these tumours can develop shortly after, or years later.

Where does liver metastasis originate from?

The most common form of liver metastases comes from your colon or rectum. Up to 70% of people with colonic or colorectal cancers eventually develop metastases, so they are a common side effect. A key reason for this is the proximity of the two parts of the body, in addition to the fact the two organs share the “portal vein”, one of the main blood supplies in the body.

In addition to these areas, liver metastases can come from the stomach, pancreas, breasts, lungs, kidneys, oesophagus and skin in the event of cancer. Secondary liver cancer in the form of metastases is more common than primary liver cancer, cancer that originated in the liver.

For more information, please read our article on the causes and diagnosis of liver metastasis.

Live metastases treatment

Once you’re diagnosed with metastases, receiving treatment as soon as possible is key.

Treatment for liver metastases will vary as it depends on the patient’s situation and history. However, some treatments include:

Other techniques such as ablation and embolisation ensure that treatments are as noninvasive as feasibly possible, so you can do your best to get on with your day to day life. However, if a patient isn’t suffering from any pain or other symptoms, treatment may not be needed. Instead, doctors will monitor the metastases instead.

Contact Birmingham HPB Clinic

If you’re interested in learning more about liver metastases and the treatments surrounding them, contact Birmingham HPB Clinic today to find out about our vital work and how we support our patients.