Liver cancer, also known as hepatic cancer, is a cancer which
starts in the liver, rather than migrating to the liver from another organ or
section of the body. In other words, it is a primary liver cancer.
Cancers that originate elsewhere and eventually reach the liver are known as liver metastasis or secondary liver cancers, and are most commonly from cancer of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract (colon cancer), lung cancer, renal cancer (cancer of the kidney), ovarian cancer and prostate cancer.
The liver, which is located below the right lung and under the ribcage is one of the largest organs of the human body. It is divided into the right and left lobes. Nutrient-rich blood is carried by the portal vein from the intestines to the liver, while oxygen-rich blood reaches the liver from the hepatic artery.
All vertebrates (animals with a spinal column) have a liver, as do some other animals. The liver has a range of functions, including detoxification (getting rid of toxins), synthesizing proteins, breaking down fats, and producing biochemicals that are essential for digestion. We cannot survive without a liver.