Causes of liver cancer

Who is more likely to get liver cancer

Anyone can get primary liver cancer. It's not always clear what causes it.

You might be more likely to get it if you:

Secondary liver cancer is caused by cancer cells from a cancer somewhere else in the body spreading to the liver.

Many liver cancers are also linked to your lifestyle.

How to reduce your chances of getting primary liver cancer

You cannot always prevent liver cancer. But making healthy changes can lower your chances of getting it.


  • try to lose weight if you're overweight

  • wear protective clothes and masks if you work in a job where you're exposed to harmful chemicals

  • try to cut down on alcohol – avoid drinking more than 14 units a week

  • try to quit smoking


It's important to get any symptoms of liver cancer checked by a GP.

Anyone can get liver cancer, even if you do not think you have a higher chance of getting it.

Page last reviewed: 13 June 2023
Next review due: 13 June 2026