What is it?
Liver cancer is cancer that begins in the cells of your liver.
Several types of cancer can form in the liver. The most common type of liver cancer is hepatocellular carcinoma, which begins in the main type of liver cell (hepatocyte).
Cancer that spreads to the liver is more common than cancer that begins in the liver cells.
What are the symptoms?
- Unexplained weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Upper abdominal pain
- General weakness and fatigue
- Abdominal swelling
- Yellow discoloration of your skin and the whites of your eyes (jaundice)
- White, chalky stools
How is it diagnosed?
Blood tests may reveal liver function abnormalities.
Your doctor may recommend imaging tests, such as an ultrasound, CT and MRI.
Sometimes it is necessary to remove a piece of liver tissue for laboratory testing in order to make a definitive diagnosis of liver cancer.
How is it treated?
Treatment of primary liver cancer depends on the extent of the disease, your age, and overall health
Surgery to remove the tumor may be a viable option if your tumor is small and your liver function is good
Liver transplant surgery is only an option for a small percentage of people with early-stage liver cancer
Radiofrequency ablation uses electric current to heat and destroy cancer cells.