What Are the Different Types of Liver Cancer?

Samson T. Jacob

November 7, 2022

What Are the Different Types of Liver Cancer?

If you’re wondering, “What are the different types of liver cancer?” Here are some answers. Liver cancer can cause various factors and is often treatable if detected in time. Learn more about hepatoblastoma, cholangiocarcinoma, and intrahepatic bile duct cancer.


Symptoms of hepatoblastoma usually begin in early childhood, when a child develops a mass in the abdomen or yellowing of the skin. A blood test can confirm the diagnosis, as can imaging techniques. When diagnosed early, hepatoblastomas are usually treated with chemotherapy and surgery. Survival rates range from 70 to 80 percent, according to F1000Research.

The disease can be diagnosed through various imaging procedures, including X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, and ultrasounds. In most cases, surgical resection of the tumor is the most effective treatment, although chemotherapy is sometimes used to shrink tumors.

Although the cause of hepatoblastoma is not fully understood, it is thought to arise from mistakes made during the growth of liver cells. Specifically, these cells grow without the normal regulation of development. Some studies indicate that hepatitis may increase the risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma.


Cholangiocarcinoma is characterized by the growth of tumors in the bile ducts, which carry bile from the liver to the gallbladder and small intestine. Bile helps the body digest fats in food. It is made in the liver, stored in the gallbladder, and then released in the small intestine after meals. Sometimes, bile duct cancer can be curable by surgery or chemotherapy.

Cholangiocarcinoma has three types. The first is intrahepatic, which begins in a small bile duct in the liver. This type of cancer accounts for less than 10% of all cases. The second type, perihilar, begins in the bile ducts outside the liver. The latter two types are often group as extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma.

Treatments for cholangiocarcinoma include a combination of surgery and chemotherapy. Chemotherapy is a treatment in which doctors attempt to shrink the cancer cells by blocking the blood vessels that supply the tumor. Surgery can involve the removal of a bile duct or part of the liver.

Hepatocellular carcinoma

Hepatocellular carcinoma is a type of cancer that affects the liver. There are several types of HCC, each with a unique growth pattern. Some classes are asymptomatic and have low-grade histology. Low-grade HCCs are generally non-neoplastic. These cancers are rare and affect mostly younger women.

Various treatments are available for different types of liver cancer. Primary liver cancer starts in the liver tissue, while secondary liver cancer spreads to the liver from other body parts. The most common type of liver cancer is hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Different cancers can start in another organ, like the lung or the kidney. People with hepatitis B or C have a higher risk of developing HCC.

Treatment for different types of liver cancer depends on their stage. Early HCCs have the best chance of survival. However, if the tumor has spread to other body parts, it may require surgery.

Intrahepatic bile duct cancer

Intrahepatic bile duct cancer is a type of cancer that affects the bile ducts in the liver. The primary treatment for bile duct cancer is surgery, which removes the tumor from the body. Patients may also undergo systemic therapy to combat cancer on a systemic level. These treatments may include immunotherapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, or therapies currently in clinical trials.

Bile duct cancer can start inside or outside of the liver and can occur in any part of the duct. Cancer may occur in the bile duct as it exits the liver or ends in the small intestine. There are two types of intrahepatic bile duct cancer, one that begins inside the liver and one that start outside the liver.

Patients with bile duct cancer should contact a GI cancer center to discuss their treatment options. The center offers multidisciplinary care and works with many experts to ensure that patients are treated as well as possible. They provide comprehensive care for patients with cancer, including pain management specialists, naturopathic providers, and mind-body practitioners. They can also participate in carefully chosen clinical trials.