Liver Cancer It is a common but serious type of cancer, and many of its symptoms can be confused with less serious health conditions. Like all cancers, there is currently no cure for liver cancer, which is why recognition of the symptoms of the disease is very important.
With the liver located in the upper right abdomen, below the diaphragm and above the stomach, symptoms may appear in this area of the body.
The American Cancer Society lists two different symptoms that can affect the belly – pain in the abdomen and swelling or accumulation of fluid in the abdomen.
Liver cancer pain is usually focused on the upper right corner of the abdominal area, near the right shoulder blade.
Sometimes the pain may extend to the back and may also be felt in the lower right part of the ribcage.
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Belly swelling can occur when the liver increases with cancer growth.
It can also occur when cancer increases the pressure in the liver, causing blood to return to the vessels. This forces fluid from the veins into the abdomen.
But it is important to note that these symptoms are more likely to result from a more common condition such as swelling.
Regardless, if you have these symptoms, consult your GP.
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Other Symptoms Of Liver Cancer
Other symptoms of the disease are listed by the NHS as:
- Unintentional Weight Loss
- Loss of appetite
- Feeling very full after eating, even if the meal is small
- Feel and be sick
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes)
- Itching skin
- Feeling very tired and weak
Liver Cancer Treatment
Treatment for liver cancer depends on several things, including where the cancer is, the size of the cancer, and how well a person's liver is functioning.
Your doctor will discuss your treatment, its benefits and possible side effects, recommends Cancer Research UK.
The main treatments for primary liver cancer are surgery, chemotherapy, heat directly in the tumor (tumor ablation), cancer drugs and targeted radiotherapy.
People with advanced liver cancer may have a targeted cancer drug such as sorafenib and radiotherapy.