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Liver Cancer: Symptoms

Liver cancer often does not cause symptoms in its early stages. In fact, many liver cancers do not cause symptoms until they have grown fairly large. 

People with liver cancer may have these symptoms:

  • Weight loss. Losing weight without trying may be a sign of liver cancer.

  • Change in eating habits. A sudden loss of appetite that lasts for a long time may be a sign of liver cancer. A feeling of being very full even after very small meals may also be a symptom.

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • A lump or mass in the upper-right side of your abdomen. Your liver might become enlarged. This can often be felt as a lump or mass under your right ribs.

  • Belly pain. Constant pain in the upper-right side of your stomach area may be a sign of liver cancer. Some people might also have pain in the area of the right shoulder blade.

  • Abdominal swelling. This can be caused by fluid building up in your abdomen. This is called ascites. Some people may have enlarged veins on the belly as well.

  • Jaundice or persistent itching. Yellowing of the whites of your eyes and skin (jaundice) is caused by the buildup of too much bilirubin. This is a chemical made by the liver. This can also cause severe itching.

  • Fever

  • Bleeding and bruising. Liver cancer can cause frequent bruising and severe bleeding. This bleeding can come from small cuts or even after activities, such as brushing your teeth.

When to see your healthcare provider

Many of these symptoms can be caused by other health problems. But it is important to see your healthcare provider if you have these symptoms. Only a healthcare provider can tell if you have liver cancer.

Online Medical Reviewer: Lu Cunningham
Online Medical Reviewer: Todd Gersten MD
Date Last Reviewed: 11/1/2018
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