How long can a person live with grade 4 liver cancer with metastases

It is not for nothing that they say that you need to protect your health from a young age. There are diseases for which only supportive therapy is possible, measures aimed at improving the quality of life. Because it is almost impossible to completely recover from such a disease.

Oncology is often diagnosed at a late stage, when even the operation is too late. By asking a question on the forum or doctors, liver cancer of the 4th degree with metastases, how long they live with it, relatives of patients try to predict the situation for the coming months, or even years.

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Liver cancer stages

A dangerous disease has several stages, each of which is more serious, but stage four is the most dangerous. They are designated by Roman numerals from I to IV. As the pathology progresses, the organ is damaged, there are fewer opportunities for a full life and work.

If you are interested in how long liver cancer lasts, then modern medicine has identified only four stages. At the initial stage, the disease is often not diagnosed, and if found, then by accident, during routine examinations. There are often cases when the disease is detected in the last stages, when only the removal of part or the whole organ or transplantation will help.

Once it became clear how many stages of liver cancer exist, you need to briefly consider each in order to understand the difference between them. At the first stage, the patient may feel loss of appetite, weakness. The temperature is sometimes elevated, hemoglobin is reduced, and weight loss may begin.

There is no metastasis yet, the tumor is no more than 20 mm. If you start therapy now, the chances are high that the maximum life span will be another 5 years. With the second degree of liver cancer, the liver itself is enlarged, the whites of the eyes are yellowish, the urine is discolored, there is an aversion to meat products. There are gastrointestinal disorders, persistent pain under the right rib, constant fever.

The tumor is already in two of the four lobes of the liver. Chemotherapy can bring tangible results, often the problem is solved with surgery or other measures are taken.

In the third stage, the tumor is already in three lobes of the liver. Symptoms – nausea, vomiting, lack of appetite, tumor damage affects three lobes of the liver. At the third stage, several stages are distinguished. At the first, there are several neoplasms more than 50 mm, at the next, the tumor affects the membrane or a neighboring organ. At the third stage, the total volume of the affected gland is more than half. Lymph nodes are affected. The face has an earthy hue, it’s hard to do even household chores.

Grade 4 liver cancer, as a rule, is already inoperable due to depletion of the body, it is only possible to alleviate the patient’s suffering. Even with all the measures taken, few of the patients will live for another 5 years. Cancer is divided into several types depending on the cells affected.

Hepatocytes, internal epithelium, glandular tissue, and blood vessels may be affected. Undifferentiated carcinoma is the most difficult to treat type of oncological disease. If liver cancer is fourth or last stage, the prognosis for life is disappointing. We should expect the most unfavorable manifestations, the person will require constant care.

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Symptoms before death are as follows:

  • Predagonia – appetite disappears, a person can moan, the skin is bluish, blood pressure decreases. When the pressure is below 50 mm Hg, death soon follows.
  • Clinical death – no consciousness, no cardiac activity, the person stops breathing.
  • Biological death – bluish spots begin to appear on the skin.

Stage Four Symptoms

If the disease progresses, attention should be paid to the symptoms of developed cancer of the 4th degree in a person. The doctor should order an examination for such a patient. In this case, the following manifestations are characteristic:

  • enlarged liver,
  • ascites appears – the accumulation of up to 15 kg of fluid in the abdomen,
  • metastasis manifests itself: bleeding from the gastrointestinal tract, nose, gums, constant fever,
  • yellowish, unhealthy skin, itching, intoxication,
  • decreased urine output – urine is excreted worse, at the same time dehydration is present,
  • hepatic coma,
  • bouts of aggression.

These are all symptoms of liver cancer before death, when a radical cure is considered impossible. In parallel with the destruction of the liver, there is a process of metastasis to other organs, therefore, other signs are added. In addition to the decay of the liver with cancer, complications begin – vomiting and coughing up blood, shortness of breath, blood in the urine and feces.

Metastases at the fourth or last stage are carried by the circulatory and lymphatic system, most often localized in the lungs, ovaries, pancreas, and bone tissue. Tumor formations block the bile ducts. Because of this, the color of the skin changes, it becomes the so-called jaundice color.


At stage 4 of cancer of the gland, an enlarged liver is well palpable. To understand the big picture, first the doctor asks what worries the patient, finds out if there are concomitant diseases, bad habits, occupational harm. Especially the specialist draws attention to the habit of drinking alcohol.

Often it is cirrhosis of the liver caused by chronic alcohol intoxication that is the cause of cancer.

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Then they take urine and blood for research. When liver cancer of grade 4 metastasizes, a person lives with metastases, protein in the urine is visible, an increase in ESR, a decrease in hemoglobin.

Most likely, an increased content of transaminases, bilirubin will be revealed. On the coagulogram, bleeding will be determined above normal.

Modern techniques give doctors many opportunities in the diagnosis of oncology. Magnetic resonance therapy, tomography allow you to examine the tumor, assess the size and distribution. To assess the state of internal organs, laparoscopy comes to the rescue. This method of research allows you to decide exactly whether and how much surgery is needed.

Is it possible to cure

With such a serious illness and the use of only chemotherapy, only one in six patients can live a year. Having learned what liver cancer is, many are interested in how long they live with a disease with such a diagnosis. Increasing life expectancy to five years is even less likely.

It is believed that a permanent cure is almost impossible. Although, medicine knows cases when, in spite of everything, the development of the disease stopped, the patient lived for more than five years.

Despite the patient’s serious condition, it makes sense to continue the treatment of liver cancer at 4 stages. In the first place is the patient’s attitude, because the disease is not a sentence. Therefore, people who have a positive attitude and follow all the recommendations of doctors have the most chances for healing.

List of Recommended Treatments:

  • analgesics – to relieve the suffering of the patient,
  • plasma injection,
  • antiemetics,
  • surgical removal of the main tumor – if possible, if the body is not too weak,
  • with the help of chemotherapy, they destroy metastatic foci.

Surgery may also be performed on the intestinal cavity to remove intestinal obstruction that sometimes metastases cause. In any case, it is important to know how to treat grade 4 liver cancer, even though the prognosis for stage liver cancer is bleak.

Doctors recommend even healthy people to undergo regular examinations in order to be confident in the future and prevent the development of oncology.

How many people live with liver cancer grade 4 with metastases

However, people want to know what are the signs of impending death. Multiple organ failure is observed due to metastases. That is, several body systems do not work properly. Death from liver cancer at the last stage often occurs less than a year after diagnosis.

The near-death condition in liver cancer is determined by a number of signs:

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  • Strong craving for sleep – due to dehydration, hypoxia, exhaustion.
  • Refusal to eat and water, because the pain syndrome is stronger than thirst and hunger.
  • Slow, quiet speech, brain dysfunction leads to hallucinations. Delirium is possible, sometimes the patient cannot recognize loved ones.
  • He stops getting up, maybe he doesn’t even turn over.
  • Rare breathing, pulmonary edema.

Those who are interested in how long one can live with liver cancer of the 4th degree with metastases should take into account that a person’s mood plays a significant role. There are people who, even in the most difficult and hopeless situation, try to get out, do not lose hope, try to do something. A positive, cheerful attitude is of great importance, it prolongs life, increases the body’s resistance.

In cases where stage 4 liver cancer is observed, the survival rate is really low, but everyone has a chance to increase life expectancy. Therefore, in any case, you should not lose hope, you need to support the patient morally, communicate with him.

Take all possible treatments. Even folk methods, which are not very much recognized by official medicine, will help restore faith in a return to normal life.

When a disease with such a diagnosis, liver cancer, is found, it is very important to find out how long the patients live. In rare cases, a misdiagnosis is possible, when in fact the problem is not so serious.

But usually this phenomenon is observed only in remote regions, where medical facilities are not equipped with the necessary equipment.

It happens that a person himself, before dying, feels that he has not long left to live. No one can avoid such an outcome, and often relatives and friends take it for granted. Therefore, the question of how many months or years they live with grade 4 liver cancer remains relevant.

Relentless facts show that no more than five percent have a maximum life span of five years from the moment of diagnosis.

If you need information on how quickly they die with this disease, it should be borne in mind that liver cancer is considered one of the most dangerous. Whereas the highest percentage of those recovered was noted among men with malignant tumors of the prostate. The liver is an organ that is responsible for metabolism, hormone production and many other important processes, so you cannot live without it. The development time of the disease can be calculated in several years or a couple of months.

Liver transplantation in our country is not developed, and due to the high cost, such an operation is available only to very rich people. Many are interested in how long they live after the operation if liver cancer is diagnosed at the last stage. In this case, it is worth noting that a complete cure is unlikely. The prognosis for oncology with metastases will still not be positive.

Patients usually survive for several years with continued treatment for the rest of their lives. But even after surgery, cancer cells can continue to spread actively.

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Svetlana Borszavich

General practitioner, cardiologist, with active work in therapy, gastroenterology, cardiology, rheumatology, immunology with allergology.
Fluent in general clinical methods for the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease, as well as electrocardiography, echocardiography, monitoring of cholera on an ECG and daily monitoring of blood pressure.
The treatment complex developed by the author significantly helps with cerebrovascular injuries and metabolic disorders in the brain and vascular diseases: hypertension and complications caused by diabetes.
The author is a member of the European Society of Therapists, a regular participant in scientific conferences and congresses in the field of cardiology and general medicine. She has repeatedly participated in a research program at a private university in Japan in the field of reconstructive medicine.