How Liver Cancer Spreads

Liver cancer can spread throughout the liver.

It can also spread to a body part far from the primary tumor called a distant metastasis. This is metastatic liver cancer.

Cancer can spread to distant sites through blood. Liver cancer can travel through the hepatic vein into the inferior vena cava and metastasize in other parts of the body. It most often metastasizes to the lung or bone.

Cancer can also spread through the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system has a clear fluid called lymph. Lymph gives cells water and food. It also has white blood cells that fight germs. Lymph nodes filter lymph and remove the germs. Lymph travels throughout the body in vessels like blood does. Lymph vessels and nodes are found everywhere in the body. Although possible, HCC does not commonly spread to nearby lymph nodes.

There is more than one treatment for liver cancer. Not everyone will receive the same treatment. Discuss with your doctor which treatment might be best for you.