Metastatic Liver Disease

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Metastatic Liver Disease

A liver metastasis is a malignant tumor in the liver that has spread from another organ affected by cancer. The liver is a common site for metastatic disease because of its rich, dual blood supply (the liver receives blood via the hepatic artery and portal vein).

What Are the Symptoms of Metastatic Liver Disease?

  • loss of appetite.
  • weight loss.
  • dark-colored urine.
  • abdominal swelling or bloating.
  • jaundice, a yellowing of the skin or the whites of the eyes.
  • pain in the right shoulder.
  • pain in the upper right abdomen.


The risk that cancer will spread, or metastasize, to the liver depends on the location of the original cancer. Primary cancers that are most likely to spread to the liver are cancers of the:

  • Breast
  • colon
  • rectum
  • kidney
  • esophagus
  • lung
  • skin
  • ovaries
  • uterus
  • pancreas
  • stomach


  • Chemotherapy
  • Biological response modifier (BRM) therapy
  • Targeted therapy
  • Hormonal therapy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Radiofrequency ablation (RFA)


  • Liver function tests
  • CT scan of the abdomen
  • Ultrasound of the liver
  • MRI
  • Angiogram
  • Laparoscopy

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