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Liver metastases, also known as secondary liver cancer, are malignant tumours in the liver that originate from another part of the body. They can appear at any time of life as a result of different types of cancer. In order of frequency, these tumour cells come from tumours located in the colon, pancreas, breast, ovary, rectum and stomach.
Liver metastases are the most common malignant tumours of the liver and usually originate from colon and rectal cancer. They account for half of the metastases that appear in the liver.
Types of liver metastases
Synchronous metastases. 2 out of 10 patients diagnosed with colon cancer have liver metastases at the time of diagnosis. This situation is known as synchronous disease since it is in both the colon and the liver.
Metachronous metastases. Cancer is a malignant disease which has a risk of relapse after treatment. In colon cancer, 50% of patients have metastases (metachronous) that appear during follow-up.
How many people does it affect?
15 in every 100,000 people with cancer each year will have liver metastases. They are more common in men than women (in men, it is the 3rd most common cancer after lung cancer and prostate cancer; in women, it is the 2nd, after breast cancer).
They can appear at any time of life as a result of different types of cancer. However, overall, the decade of life where they are most common is 70-80 years.
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