Liver cancer

There are two main types of primary liver cancer – hepatocellular carcinoma and cholangiocarcinoma.

Malignant liver tumours can be either primary (the original site) or metastatic (secondary to another cancer somewhere else in the body).

About primary liver cancer

Primary liver cancer is cancer that begins in the liver. Primary liver cancer is more common in men than in women, and the risk of developing liver cancer gets higher as we get older. Whilst rare, primary liver cancer is increasing in prevalence in the UK.

Cancer that started in another part of the body and has spread to the liver is called secondary liver cancer or metastatic liver cancer.

If you are diagnosed with liver cancer you will have immediate access to our world-leading consultants and state-of-the-art hospitals.

Liver cancer types

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC)

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) or Hepatoma is the most common type of primary liver cancer. HCC arises from the main cells of the liver known as the hepatocytes. Whist ordinarily confined to the liver it may, on occasion, spread to other organs. More common in men than women, HCC occurs mostly in people with cirrhosis of the liver.


Cholangiocarcinoma (bile duct cancer) starts in the cells lining the bile ducts and is more common in men than in women. The bile ducts are the tubes connecting the liver and gall bladder to the small intestine. This type of liver cancer is more common in women.

Our liver cancer specialists

We're proud to work with leading experts across a range of medical fields including hepatology and HPB surgery, whose skills are matched by their integrity and compassion.

Our locations

Contact our experienced cancer team

Any questions about our cancer services or treatment? We're happy to advise you or help you book an appointment in London, Birmingham or Manchester with a cancer specialist consultant.

Call us on 

020 7079 4344
This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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