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Childhood Liver Cancer Treatment

Stages of Childhood Liver Cancer

After childhood liver cancer has been diagnosed, tests are done to find out if cancer cells have spread within the liver or to other parts of the body.

The process used to find out if cancer has spread within the liver or to other parts of the body is called staging. The information gathered from the staging process determines the stage of the disease. It is important to know the stage in order to plan treatment.

The following tests and procedures may be used in the staging process:

There are 2 staging systems for childhood liver cancer.

Two staging systems are used for childhood liver cancer:

The following stages are used before surgery:

The liver is divided into 4 vertical sections.

PRETEXT Stage 1


PRETEXT Stage 1. Cancer is found in one section of the liver. Three sections of the liver that are next to each other do not have cancer in them.
PRETEXT Stage 1. Cancer is found in one section of the liver. Three sections of the liver that are next to each other do not have cancer in them.

In stage 1, the cancer is found in one section of the liver. Three sections of the liver that are next to each other do not have cancer in them.

PRETEXT Stage 2


PRETEXT Stage 2. Cancer is found in one or two sections of the liver. Two sections of the liver that are next to each other do not have cancer in them.
PRETEXT Stage 2. Cancer is found in one or two sections of the liver. Two sections of the liver that are next to each other do not have cancer in them.

In stage 2, cancer is found in one or two sections of the liver. Two sections of the liver that are next to each other do not have cancer in them.

PRETEXT Stage 3


PRETEXT Stage 3. Cancer is found in three sections of the liver and one section does not have cancer. OR, cancer is found in two sections of the liver and two sections that are not next to each other do not have cancer in them.
PRETEXT Stage 3. Cancer is found in three sections of the liver and one section does not have cancer. OR, cancer is found in two sections of the liver and two sections that are not next to each other do not have cancer in them.

In stage 3, one of the following is true:

PRETEXT Stage 4


PRETEXT Stage 4. Cancer is found in all four sections of the liver.
PRETEXT Stage 4. Cancer is found in all four sections of the liver.

In stage 4, cancer is found in all four sections of the liver.

The following stages are used after surgery:

Stage I

In stage I, the tumor was in the liver only and all of the cancer was removed by surgery.

Stage II

In stage II, the tumor was in the liver only and all of the cancer that can be seen without a microscope was removed by surgery. A small amount of cancer remains in the liver, but it can be seen only with a microscope, or the tumor cells may have spilled into the abdomen before surgery or during surgery.

Stage III

In stage III:

Stage IV

In stage IV, the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.

There are three ways that cancer spreads in the body.

The three ways that cancer spreads in the body are:

When cancer cells break away from the primary (original) tumor and travel through the lymph or blood to other places in the body, another (secondary) tumor may form. This process is called metastasis. The secondary (metastatic) tumor is the same type of cancer as the primary tumor. For example, if breast cancer spreads to the bones, the cancer cells in the bones are actually breast cancer cells. The disease is metastatic breast cancer, not bone cancer.