What Are the Symptoms of Liver Cancer?

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You can have liver cancer for months or years before developing any symptoms. Symptoms of liver cancer do not usually appear until the cancer grows. When it grows, it pushes against other parts of the liver or organs in the abdomen.

People with liver cancer may have these symptoms.

  • Weight loss. Any unusual weight loss may be a symptom of liver cancer.

  • Change in eating habits. A sudden lack of appetite that lasts for a long time or a feeling of being very full after eating a small meal may be signs of liver cancer.

  • Nausea and/or vomiting.

  • Lump or mass. An unexplained lump or mass in the upper-right side of the abdomen or in the stomach area may be a tumor growing on the liver. The abdomen may grow quickly if a tumor is present.

  • Pain. Constant pain in the upper-right side of your abdomen or in your stomach area may be a sign that a tumor is growing inside your liver. The tumor may be pushing against another part of your body, causing the pain.

  • Jaundice. Jaundice is caused by too much bilirubin in the body. Too much bilirubin can turn the eyes and skin yellow. If you have jaundice, you should be checked for liver disease or cancer.

  • Cirrhosis. If you have cirrhosis and your symptoms get worse, or you suddenly become very ill, you may have liver cancer.

  • Bleeding. Bleeding in the upper gastrointestinal area can signal cancer.
  • Fever.

  • Weakness and fatigue. Feeling very tired or weak may mean you have cancer.

  • Swelling. Abdominal swelling or bloating may be a sign of liver cancer.

It is important to remember that these symptoms can be caused by other, less serious medical problems. If you have any symptoms, you should see your doctor right away. Only a doctor can tell whether you have cancer.

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Medical Reviewers: Fincannon, Joy, RN, MN; MMI board-certified, academically affiliated clinician; Last Review Date: Dec 1, 2013

© 2000-2015 Krames StayWell, 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.

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