Liver Cancer Symptoms

Liver cancer symptoms could depend on the origin and type of the cancer.

There are common symptoms which typically are weight loss, abdominal discomfort, and a detectable mass in the upper right abdomen below the rib cage.

If the cancer originates in the liver it is commonly a hepatoma (hepatocellular carcinoma) or less frequently a cholangiocarcinoma or hepatoblastoma (more common in infants).

Otherwise, the liver is a frequent target of metastasizing cancer cells from cancers in other regions of the body (often from the colon).

These secondary liver cancers usually exhibit similar liver tumor symptoms to primary liver cancers.

Liver cancer symptoms:

  • abdominal pain
  • weight loss
  • general feeling of illness
  • mass can be felt under rib cage in right-upper abdomen
  • fever
  • jaundice
  • low blood pressure shock

Hepatitis, viral hepatitis, alcoholism, and environmental and industrial toxins are known to increase the risk of developing liver cance.

Diagnosis is generally made through a variety of methods including blood tests, ultrasound, imaging techniques such as MRI, x-ray, or tissue biopsy.

Because hepatomas are detected at relatively late stages due to the vague nature of early liver tumor symptoms, prognosis is poor. Treatment is typically surgical or by chemotherapy.

Treatment is often aimed at increasing the quality of the remaining lifespan by alleviating symptoms. At this stage of the cancer pain control is the focus rather than curative measures.

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