The liver is a very large organ inside the abdomen that secretes bile, a fluid which helps the digestion of fats. The lver has many functions: processing the food we eat, storing some substances and removing some waste products from the blood, involved in blood clotting and controlling the volume of blood, etc. It is essential to life.
Many cancers can spread to the liver, particularly cancers of the stomach, colon, lung, breast and uterus. This may have already happened when cancer is first diagnosed, and sometimes the site of the original cancer is not apparent. Counted here are only cancers that originate in the liver (primary hepatic cancer).
Hepatitis B Map 387, and Hepatitis C Map 388, and also a mold that grows on rice and peanuts (aflatoxin) make people more likely to develop liver cancer. People who have developed permanent damage to the liver tissue (cirrhosis of the liver) are much more likely to get primary liver cancer. Cirrhosis of the liver can be caused by Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C, alcohol and by some inherited conditions.
Cancer of the liver caused 1.1% of all deaths worldwide in 2002, an average of 99 deaths per million people per year and 9% of all deaths from cancer.