This type of cancer starts in the cells that line the bile duct and is sometimes called bile duct cancer| . Cholangiocarcinoma is more common in women.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC)
This is also sometimes called hepatoma or HCC. It is the most common type of primary liver cancer. The information in this section of CancerHelp UK refers mainly to hepatocellular cancers. 85 out of every 100 primary liver cancers (85%) diagnosed are this type. 'Hepatocellular' means liver cells. 'Carcinoma' means cancer.
This type of liver cancer develops from the main liver cells called hepatocytes. It usually occurs in people who have a damaged liver from cirrhosis. It is much more likely to develop in men than in women. It also becomes more common as people get older.
There is a subtype of hepatocellular carcinoma called fibrolamellar HCC. This usually develops in younger women who do not have cirrhosis. It is usually more successfully treated than hepatocellular cancer.
Hepatoblastoma is a very rare type of primary liver cancer that usually affects young children. It is most often diagnosed in children under 3. More boys than girls are affected. It is usually treated with surgery and chemotherapy.
Benign liver tumours
Some primary tumours in the liver are non-cancerous (benign) and don’t spread to other parts of the body. They are usually small and may cause no symptoms. They are often discovered by chance during operations or investigations for other conditions. Unless they are causing symptoms they don’t usually need to be removed. Benign liver tumours do not turn into cancer.