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Liver Cancer

Understanding the key facts and figures about liver cancer research.

An estimated 4,700 Canadians will be diagnosed with liver cancer (and cancers of the intrahepatic bile duct) in 2023. These cancers mainly affect adults and are more common in men than women. Prognosis varies widely depending on the type of liver cancer being diagnosed and the stage at which it is detected. Five-year survival rates for liver cancer are estimated to be around 22 percent.

There are many types of liver cancer and each varies in risk. The most common type is hepatocellular carcinoma, closely followed by cholangiocarcinoma. Detecting liver cancer early can increase chances of survival for patients with this deadly disease, but given the lack of clear diagnostic tests, patients are often diagnosed at advanced stages of the disease or after the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.

Today, the lack of early detection tests, ineffective treatments and high mortality rates make liver cancer a pressing health issue in Canada.

Our Research Strategy

Given current challenges affecting liver cancer, the Terry Fox Research Institute has embarked on a multi-pronged strategy to fund some of the best scientific teams and programs in the country researching this deadly disease.

In 2022/23, roughly 5 per cent of the money invested by the TFRI supported liver cancer research. This added up to a total investment of $666,000.*

To allocate its resources, the Institute has international experts evaluate the excellence and the potential for impact of all its research projects. This approach distinguishes our research investment strategy from all others in Canada and allows donors to be confident that their investment is supporting the top 5% of Canadian researchers and their science.

*Our scientific discovery projects are interdisciplinary by design and often focus on more than one cancer type. The figures listed above are an estimate and should not be taken as exact figures.