Types & Stages | Phoenix CyberKnife Radiation & Oncology Center

Liver Tumors – Types & Stages

Types & Stages of Liver Tumors

Determining the type and stage of a liver tumor is important in order to come up with a plan of treatment. Your Phoenix cancer center or physician can run a number of tests to help determine what kind of tumor you are facing. The two main types of primary liver tumors include heptocellular carcinoma and cholangiocarcinoma


Heptocellular Carcinoma

Also known as HCC, hepatocellular carcinoma is the more common of the primary liver cancers. It is often a result of cirrhosis of the liver, which is directly linked to hepatitis C and alcohol consumption. Other risk factors for the development of this type of tumor include

  • Anabolic steroids
  • Exposure to specific chemicals
  • Hepatitis B
  • Obesity

HCC does not have very many symptoms early on, which is why it is often not noticed or diagnosed until it has advanced. Symptoms can include jaundice, unexplained weight loss, nausea, feeling full after eating very little, and abdominal pain on the upper right side.


Although less common, cholangiocarcinoma, also known as bile duct cancer, moves very fast and is often terminal. There are only about 5,000 new cases of this type of cancer each year, but finding a cure for it is difficult.

Determining Stage

When determining the stage of any cancer, doctors look at the size, how far it has spread, and whether it has metastasized. This is indicated through TNM with numbers following each letter. An X next to any letter indicates that it cannot be assessed. A 0 indicates either no tumor is present, it has not spread or it has not metastasized. The combination of each of these groups provides the stage of cancer, which is 1 through 4, typically indicated with Roman numerals.

To find out more information on identifying the type and stage of cancer or for questions or help in seeking Phoenix liver tumor treatment, contact Phoenix CyberKnife and Radiation Oncology Center at 602-441-3845.


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