Primary liver cancer starts in the liver when a malignant tumour or tumours are found in the liver tissue. There are different types of primary liver cancer:
- Infection with hepatitis B is the biggest known risk factor for developing primary liver cancer.
- Secondary cancer in the liver is cancer that started in another part of the body but has spread (metastasised) to the liver.
Most cancers can spread to the liver, but the most common ones start in the digestive system (large bowel, pancreas, oesophagus and stomach). Digestive cancers often spread to the liver because blood containing cancer cells from the digestive organs passes through the liver first and can lodge there.
About 400 Victorians are diagnosed with liver cancer every year.
$670,000 has been given to fund research specifically into liver cancer.
In addition, more than $16.2 million has been spent on research projects looking into the detection and treatment of all tumour types (including liver).
Overall, Cancer Council
Victoria has funded $69 million worth of
lab-based research in Victorian hospitals, universities and research
institutions since 2003.
More on external research funded per tumour type.