Hepatomas, or more properly hepatocellular carcinoma, is the most common cancer of the liver. It is almost always terminal even with aggressive treatment. However, some hepatomas are benign, although even these are difficult to remove with surgery.
There is no single cause of hepatomas, but there are many risk factors. Just about anything that affects the liver can put a patient at risk. Alcohol and hepatitis pose the highest risk factors, but aflatoxin, cirrhosis, hemochromatosis, Wilson's disease and diabetes are all risk factors.
Treatment is very aggressive. A liver transplant is the best option, but is usually not available. Radiation therapy and chemotherapy are common, and there are several experimental treatments. If the tumor cannot be completely removed (and this is the case in over 80% of cases), death is likely within 3–6 months.