Signs and symptoms of liver cancer

What are the signs and symptoms of liver cancer?

The signs and symptoms of liver cancer usually do not show up until the cancer is in its later stages, but sometimes they can show up early too. It is important to go to the doctor once the first symptoms appear as there might be chances of getting the cancer diagnosed and treated earlier and better. The most common symptoms of liver cancer are listed below.

liver cancer symptoms

  • Right upper abdominal pain
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Feeling full after a small meal
  • Loss of appetite
  • Enlarged liver
  • Enlarged spleen
  • Swelling or fluid build up in the abdomen
  • Jaundice
  • Itching

Losing more than 10% of body weight over a short period is seen as unexpected weight loss.

Jaundice is caused if the liver is not functioning properly or in case of bile duct blockage. It has very clear symptoms such as yellowing of skin and eyes. The color of urine also becomes darker (more yellow) when someone has jaundice. However Jaundice is a late symptom in Liver cancer.

Some other symptoms may include fever, bleeding, or bruising and enlarged veins on the belly that can be seen through the skin. Some people who have cirrhosis or those who have been affected by hepatitis may feel worse than usual and their test results might show a change in AFP levels.

However, there are some liver tumors that make hormones that act up differently on organs other than the liver. These hormones can show symptoms such as:

  • High cholesterol levels
  • High levels of red blood cells that cause the person to look red and flushed
  • Breast enlargement or shrinkage of testicles in men
  • Low blood sugar levels, also known as hypoglycemia, can cause fatigue, or fainting
  • High calcium level, the condition known as hypercalcemia, causes symptoms like nausea, confusion, weakness, constipation, or muscle problems

Read more on diagnosis of liver cancer.

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