The liver is the largest internal organ that lives in the upper right portion of the abdomen beneath the lung. The liver’s primary function is to regulate most chemical levels in the blood and excrete a product called bile. This helps carry away waste products from the liver.
Liver cancer starts when cells in the liver begin to grow out of control. These cells, called hepatocytes, can form cancerous and non-cancerous tumors.
Primary liver cancer forms in the liver and begins in the hepatocyte cells of the liver. The most common type of primary liver cancer is called hepatocellular carcinoma.
Secondary liver cancer, cancer that spreads, or metastasizes, to the liver from somewhere else in the body, is more common than primary liver cancer. Cancer that originates in another part of the body such as lung, esophagus, or colon then migrates to the liver is called liver metastasis or hepatic metastasis and is named for the organ in which it began.