What Are The Symptoms Of Liver Cancer
In its early stages, liver cancer may not have symptoms that can be seen or felt. However, as the cancer grows larger, people may notice one or more of these common symptoms. Its important to remember that these symptoms could also be caused by other health conditions. If you have any of these symptoms, talk to your doctor.
Liver cancer symptoms may include
- Discomfort in the upper abdomen on the right side.
- A swollen abdomen.
- A hard lump on the right side just below the rib cage.
- Pain near the right shoulder blade or in the back.
- Easy bruising or bleeding.
How Do Healthcare Providers Diagnose Liver Cancer
Your healthcare provider may suspect you have liver cancer if they find liver cancer signs and symptoms during your physical examination. They may order the following tests to learn more:
- Blood tests:Healthcare providers may do blood tests for cancer, such as a liver function test, to check on liver enzymes, proteins and other substances that show whether your liver is healthy or damaged. They may test for alfa-fetoprotein . High AFP levels may indicate liver cancer.
- Ultrasound : This test provides pictures of your soft tissue structures. Healthcare providers use ultrasound to look for liver tumors.
- Computed tomography scan: This special type of X-ray takes detailed images of your liver, providing information about liver tumor size and location.
- Magnetic resonance imaging : This test produces very clear images of your body using a large magnet, radio waves and a computer.
- Angiogram: This test helps healthcare providers examine your livers blood vessels. During this test, your healthcare provider injects dye into an artery so they can track blood vessel activity and look for blockages.
- Biopsy: Healthcare providers remove liver tissue to look for signs of cancer. Biopsies are the most reliable way to confirm a liver cancer diagnosis.
Your healthcare provider may do the following tests if they think you may have IHC:
What are liver cancer stages?
Hepatocellular carcinoma stages include the following:
Know The Risks Understand The Symptoms
Get screened and talk to your doctor today about treatment alternatives.
Cancer is the growth and spread of unhealthy cells in the body.
Secondary liver cancer is a type of cancer that starts somewhere else in the body and spreads to the liver. The medical term for a cancer that has spread is metastatic, so secondary liver cancer is also referred to as metastatic liver cancer.
Hepatocellular carcinoma is the most common type of cancer among adults in the USA. Most people with hepatocellular carcinoma have many small clusters of cancer cells called nodules. Some people have only one tumor that gets larger over time. Learn more about rare forms of liver cancer.
Get The Hepatitis B Vaccine
Theres a vaccine for hepatitis B that is recommended for all eligible children. Adults who are at high risk for infection should also be vaccinated.
This includes people who use illegal drugs like heroin, crack cocaine, and crystal methamphetamine.
The vaccination is usually given in a series of three injections over a period of 6 months.
Mesenchymal Cancers Of The Liver
ANGIOSARCOMA OF THE LIVER
Angiosarcoma of the liver is the most common mesenchymal neoplasm of the liver, accounting for 2% of all cases of primary liver cancers.213,214 About 10 to 20 cases are diagnosed in the United States each year.213 Peak incidence of the cancer is in the sixth and seventh decades,215 and it is four times as common in men as in women.5 There is a strong association between ASL with occupational exposures.214 However, 75% of the cases are not associated with any known etiologic factors.215 A 45-fold increase in risk of ASL in seen in patients with exposure to the vinyl chloride monomer .216,217 A review of 20 patients who died from VCM-related ASL showed that the tumor occurred between 9 and 35 years after exposure to VCM.218 The mechanism of VCM-associated ASL appears to be through mutations in ras and p53 genes mediated by the metabolites and adducts of VCM.217 It has also been associated with exposure to arsenic,219,220 thorotrast,221,222 anabolic steroid,215,223 and cyclophosphamide.224 ASL has also been associated with hemochromatosis but not with viral hepatitis.212
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How Can I Prevent Liver Cancer
While you cant completely prevent liver cancer, you can do the following to lower your chances of getting liver cancer:
- Avoid behaviors that lead to cirrhosis.
- Reach or maintain a healthy weight.
- Get a hepatitis B vaccine. This vaccine is safe for nearly everyone. Ask your doctor about the hepatitis A vaccine.
- Avoid hepatitis C.
- If you have any liver disease, have diabetes, obesity or are a heavy drinker, ask your healthcare provider about liver cancer screenings.
Liver Cancer Causes And Risk Factors
The most common type of liver cancer in adults, hepatocellular carcinoma , typically develops in people with chronic liver disease caused by hepatitis virus infection or cirrhosis. Men are more likely to develop HCC than women. People with multiple risk factors have an even higher risk.
Many risk factors have been associated with liver cancer. Not everyone with one or more of these risk factors will develop the disease, and the disease will develop in some people who dont have any known risk factors. Risk factors include the following:
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One Of The Most Common Signs Of Liver Cancer Is Abdominal Swelling
Although it is rare to experience any noticeable symptoms of liver cancer in the early stages, there are some common symptoms that could be a warning sign. The first symptom is a change in eating habits. If you find yourself not eating enough or feeling full even after small meals, this could be a symptom of liver cancer. Other symptoms include pain in the abdomen, fever, and the right shoulder blade. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should immediately see a doctor.best liver cancer treatment centers- Oren Zarif
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One of the most common early signs of liver cancer is abdominal swelling. The fluid in the abdomen can also swell. Some people may experience enlarged veins on the abdomen. Another symptom is jaundice, which is a buildup of a chemical in the blood called bilirubin. If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to see your doctor. Your healthcare provider can determine whether you have a symptom of liver cancer or something else.sbrt pancreas- Oren Zarif
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Where Is Liver Cancer More Common
Liver cancer is much more common in countries in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia than in the US. In many of these countries it is the most common type of cancer. More than 800,000 people are diagnosed with this cancer each year throughout the world. Liver cancer is also a leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide, accounting for more than 700,000 deaths each year.
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What Is The Most Common Type Of Liver Cancer Worldwide
Hepatocellular carcinoma is the most prevalent primary liver cancer and a leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Ninety percent of HCC cases arise from cirrhosis, during which liver cells undergo chronic cycles of necrosis and regeneration.
Tips To Keep Your Liver Healthy
If you have liver disease or youre at risk of liver disease because of your family history or underlying medical conditions, its essential to maintain regular medical follow-ups with your liver doctor or primary care doctor and to take your medications as directed. The CDC offers the following additional tips to help reduce your risk of liver cancer:
- Limit your alcohol consumption. The guidelines suggest that men drink no more than two alcohol units per day, and women no more than one.
- Maintain a normal weight. This can cut down on the risk of developing fatty liver disease or the risk factors that are associated with developing fatty liver disease.
- Dont smoke. Or quit if you do.
- Get vaccinated against hepatitis B.
- Get tested for hepatitis C. And get medical care if you have it.
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Heavy And Harmful Drinking
The liver is a tough and resilient organ. It can endure a high level of damage that would destroy other organs and is capable of regenerating itself. But despite the liver’s resilience, excessive alcohol intake over many years can damage it.
Every time you drink alcohol, your liver filters out the poisonous alcohol from your blood and some of the liver cells die. The liver can regenerate new cells, but if you drink heavily for many years, your liver will lose the ability to do this and it can become damaged and scarred over time.
An Estimated 28000 People Die Of Liver Cancer In The Us Each Year
Cancer that starts in the liver is called primary liver cancer, with the most common type being hepatocellular carcinoma . Some cases of HCC begin as a single tumor that continues to grow larger, and only late in the disease does it spread to other parts of the liver, according to the American Cancer Society.
A second type appears to start as many small cancer nodules throughout the liver, which is most often seen in people with cirrhosis and is the most common pattern in the United States.
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Symptoms For Liver Cancer
Symptoms of this can include abdominal pain, loss of appetite, weight loss, jaundice , and swelling in the abdomen. However, these symptoms are often non-specific and can be caused by other conditions, so a doctors evaluation is needed to confirm the diagnosis.
In the early stages of primary liver cancer, most persons have no symptoms. When signs and symptoms do occur, they may include the following:
Losing weight without making an effort
Your skin and the whites of your eyes are yellow
Stools are white and powdery.
Signs And Symptoms Of Liver Cancer
Having one or more of the symptoms below does not mean you have liver cancer. In fact, many of these symptoms are more likely to be caused by other conditions. Still, if you have any of these symptoms, its important to have them checked by a doctor so that the cause can be found and treated, if needed. Signs and symptoms of liver cancer often do not show up until the later stages of the disease, but sometimes they may show up sooner. If you go to your doctor when you first notice symptoms, your cancer might be diagnosed earlier, when treatment is most likely to be helpful. Some of the most common symptoms of liver cancer are:
- Feeling very full after a small meal
- Nausea or vomiting
- An enlarged liver, felt as fullness under the ribs on the right side
- An enlarged spleen, felt as fullness under the ribs on the left side
- Pain in the abdomen or near the right shoulder blade
- Swelling or fluid build-up in the abdomen
- Yellowing of the skin and eyes
Other symptoms can include fever, enlarged veins on the belly that can be seen through the skin, and abnormal bruising or bleeding.
People who have chronic hepatitis or cirrhosis might feel worse than usual or might just have changes in lab test results, such as liver function tests or alpha-fetoprotein levels.
Some liver tumors make hormones that act on organs other than the liver. These hormones may cause:
Last Revised: April 1, 2019
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Are Herbal Medicines Recommended To Treat Liver Cancer
The term ‘herbal medicine’ can represent thousands of compounds. Unfortunately, most are not rigorously tested or regulated by the companies that produce them, the federal Food and Drug Administration that monitors our drug supply markets, or the physicians that see them in our day-to-day lives.
Some are likely very safe but some may be harmful. I recommend that all patients taking these types of medications discuss them with their physicians as they would any other medication or unregulated drug they may be consuming.
What Are The Risk Factors Associated With Liver Cancer
In the absence of chronic liver disease, liver cancer is rare. However, in people with an underlying liver disease, liver cancer may be quite common. The exact cause of liver cancer is not known, but scientists have identified many risk factors that can make someone more likely to develop liver cancer:
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What Are The Treatments For Liver Cancer
A number of therapies are used to treat liver cancer. Choice of treatment depends on several factors, such as the type and stage of the cancer, and the patients overall health and liver function.
Treatments for liver cancer include:
For people who have secondary liver cancer, doctors will also need to treat the underlying cancer. They may use chemotherapy to treat cancer that has spread to the liver.
Selective Internal Radiation Therapy
Also known as radioembolisation, this treatment targets liver tumours directly with high doses of internal radiation in tiny beads. It is used for both primary and secondary cancers in the liver when the tumours can’t be removed with surgery. It is not available in all areas, so talk to your doctor about availability and costs involved.
Liver Cancer Is Less Common In The Us
Liver cancer is more common in other parts of the world than in the United States, where it is actually declining, according to the CDC. About 25,000 men and 11,000 women in the United States get liver cancer each year, and about 19,000 men and 9,000 women die from it.
In the U.S., most underlying causes of liver cancer are related to hepatitis C infection and alcohol consumption, with an increasing, albeit modest, rate of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, says Estfan. The rates are going down because the rate of those aging with hepatitis C is decreasing, and with it the rates of incidence and mortality as well, he says.
Alcohol abuse can lead to liver cirrhosis and increased risk of liver cancer, and abstinence or moderate use is important to prevent that, says Estfan. One rising cause of fatty liver and cirrhosis is nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, often a result of obesity, hypertension, high cholesterol, and diabetes, he says. These are manageable conditions through healthy lifestyle and medical management.
Liver Cancer Causes Risk Factors And Prevention
Worldwide, liver cancer is the sixth most common cancer and the third leading cause of cancer death. In the United States, rates are highest in American Indian/Alaska Native individuals. The number of new cases of liver cancer continues to increase, making it the sixth leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States.
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Living With Liver Cancer
A liver cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming. Its important to connect with people in your life who can help you deal with stress, anxiety, or other feelings. This might include family members and friends.
You may want to speak with a counselor who can help you work through your emotions or consider joining a cancer support group. Sharing your experiences with others who can relate to what youre going through can help you feel more connected.
Ask your doctor about support groups in your area. You can also find information about support groups on the
What Causes Liver Cancer
There is evidence that the following are associated with an increased risk of liver cancer: cirrhosis, chronic viral hepatitis, infestation of liver flukes, long-term use of oral contraceptives containing high doses of oestrogen and progesterone, and smoking.
There is also strong evidence that:
- being overweight or obese INCREASES the risk of liver cancer
- consuming alcoholic drinks INCREASES the risk of liver cancer
- consuming foods contaminated by aflatoxins INCREASES the risk of liver cancer
- drinking coffee DECREASES the risk of liver cancer
There is some evidence that:
- consuming fish might decrease the risk of liver cancer
- being physically active might decrease the risk of liver cancer
The data on this page comes from the Global Cancer Observatory, owned by the World Health Organization/International Agency for Research on Cancer, and is used with permission. The cancer incidence figures and ASRs were compiled using the data available here . For queries about our cancer statistics please email the Research Interpretation team: .
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Causes Of Liver Cancer
The exact cause of liver cancer is unknown, but many cases are linked to a problem with the liver called cirrhosis. This is where the tissue of the liver has become scarred and cannot perform many of its usual functions.
Cancer is a condition where cells in a specific part of the body grow and reproduce uncontrollably, producing a lump of tissue known as a tumour.
In cases of liver cancer, it is uncertain why and how the cells of the liver are affected, but it appears that cirrhosis can increase a person’s chances of developing the condition.
However, most cases of cirrhosis do not lead to liver cancer, and people without cirrhosis can also develop liver cancer.