The liver is the biggest organ in the body. It is in the upper part of the tummy (abdomen) on the right-hand side, under the lower ribs. It is surrounded by a strong fibrous capsule. It is divided into two lobes.
- stores sugars and fats, so they can be used for energy
- makes different proteins that help the blood to clot, which prevents bleeding and maintains fluid balance in the body
- makes bile, which helps breaks down fats so they can be absorbed by the body
- breaks down harmful substances, so they cannot harm other parts of the body.
The liver is good at repairing itself. It can work well even when only a small part of it is working normally. If a part of the liver is removed, often the remaining liver can grow to replace it.
Below is a sample of the sources used in our primary liver cancer information. If you would like more information about the sources we use, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Melloul E, Hübner M, Scott M, et al. Guidelines for perioperative care for liver surgery: Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) Society recommendations. World J Surg. 2016; 40: 2425–2440. Available from: doi.org/10.1007/s00268-016-3700-1 [accessed Feb 2020]
NICE. Lenvatinib for untreated advanced hepatocellular carcinoma: Technology appraisal guidance (TA 551) [Internet]. 2018. Available from: www.nice.org.uk/guidance/TA551 [accessed Feb 2020]
NICE. Liver disease. Quality standard (QS 152) [Internet]. 2017. Available from: www.nice.org.uk/guidance/QS152 [accessed Feb 2020]
NICE. Liver cancers overview [Internet]. 2019. Available from: pathways.nice.org.uk/pathways/liver-cancers/liver-cancers-overview [accessed Feb 2020]
NICE. Regorafenib for previously treated advanced hepatocellular carcinoma. Technology appraisal guidance (TA555) [Internet]. 2019. Available from: www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ta555 [accessed Feb 2020]
Vogel A, Cervantes A, Chau I, et al. Hepatocellular carcinoma: ESMO Clinical practice guidelines for diagnosis, treatment and follow-up. Annals of Oncology. 2018; 29 (S4): iv238–iv255. Available from doi.org/10.1093/annonc/mdy510 [accessed Feb 2020]
This information has been written, revised and edited by Macmillan Cancer Support’s Cancer Information Development team. It has been reviewed by expert medical and health professionals and people living with cancer. It has been approved by Dr Paul Ross, Consultant Medical Oncologist.
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