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The pyramid-shaped liver is the largest organ in the body. It is located under your right ribs, and it has two sections called lobes.
It is different from other organs because its blood comes from two sources. The hepatic artery brings in oxygen-rich blood, while the portal vein supplies nutrient-rich blood from the intestines.
Some of the liver's important jobs are to:
- Break down and store nutrients from the intestine
- Make clotting factors to help your body stop bleeding
- Create bile to help the intestine absorb nutrients
- Help get rid of waste
If liver cancer spreads, the most likely places are surrounding tissues, the lungs or the brain.
Types of childhood liver cancer
The two most common types of liver cancers in children are:
- Hepatoblastoma. This occurs most frequently in infants or young children between the ages of 2 months and 3 years. It is the most common kind of cancer of the liver in children.
- Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). It occurs most frequently in children between the ages of 10 and 16 years.
If your child has been diagnosed with liver cancer, we’re here to help. Call 888-352-4094 to make an appointment or request an appointment online.
Childhood liver cancer risk factors
Anything that increases your child’s chance of getting liver cancer is a risk factor.
- Certain conditions passed down in families, including Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome and Familial adenomatous polyposis
- Low birth weight (less than 3½ pounds)
- Prior hepatitis infection
Not everyone with risk factors gets liver cancer. However, if your child has risk factors, you should discuss them with your doctor.
In rare cases, liver cancer can be passed down from one generation to the next. Genetic counseling may be right for you. Visit our genetic testing page to learn more.
Learn more about childhood liver cancer:
Why choose MD Anderson for your childhood liver cancer treatment?
At the Children’s Cancer Hospital, we have extraordinary expertise in all types of pediatric liver cancer. And we have designed everything about our hospital especially for children and teens.
Your child’s care will be customized by a team of experts, including medical, surgical and radiation oncologists and specialized pathologists. A specially trained and focused support staff includes nurses, physician assistants, therapists and many others. They all collaborate and communicate frequently about your child’s case. This translates into comprehensive, focused care for children and teens with liver cancer.
Our physicians have at their fingertips the most modern techniques and technology to diagnose and treat pediatric liver cancer. And they use them with extraordinary skill.
Surgery for liver cancer often is complex and challenging. Your best chance for a successful outcome is with a surgeon who has a deep level of experience and skill in these highly specialized procedures.
Our pediatric surgeons use the latest methods to perform a large number of delicate liver cancer surgeries each year, with higher chance for successful treatment than many other cancer centers.
Children’s Cancer Hospital offers clinical trials for innovative new treatments for pediatric liver cancer. Behind the scenes, we are working on groundbreaking basic science research to change the future of pediatric cancer.
Treating the whole child
Children’s Cancer Hospital is focused on children, with a full range of services and amenities that help make the child and family’s experience as comfortable as possible. We go beyond medical care to deliver a comprehensive experience that treats the whole child.
And at Children’s Cancer Hospital, you’re surrounded by the strength of one of the nation’s top cancer centers.
If your child has been diagnosed with liver cancer, we’re here to help. Call 877-632-6789 to make an appointment or request an appointment online.
Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it.
MD Anderson patients have access to clinical trials offering promising new treatments that cannot be found anywhere else.
Talk to someone who shares your cancer diagnosis and be matched with a survivor.
Prevention & Screening
Many cancers can be prevented with lifestyle changes and regular screening.