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Stages of Liver Cancer

Liver cancer has 4 staging groups (groups I through IV), and these groups are also divided according to how the cancer may be treated.

Stage I

There is one tumor and it has not spread to nearby blood vessels in the liver

Stage II

One tumor that has spread to nearby blood vessels OR more than one tumor, none of which is larger than 5 centimeters (or 2 inches)

Stage III (Divided into IIIA, IIIB, and IIIC)

IIIA: Either more than one tumor larger than 5 centimeters OR one tumor that has spread to a major branch of blood vessels near the liver

IIIB: One or more tumors of any size that have either spread to nearby organs other than the gallbladder OR have broken through the lining of the peritoneal (abdominal) cavity

IIIC: The cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes.

Stage IV

The cancer has spread beyond the liver to other places in the body, such as the bones or lungs. The tumors may be of any size and may also have spread to nearby blood vessels and/or lymph nodes.


Complete details on these stages are available at

For more information about staging of liver cancer, visit the American Cancer Society website.