Liver Cancer

It can happen to you...

Description of Liver Cancer

Liver cancer is a cancer that begins in the cells of your liver. Your liver is a football-sized organ that is in the upper right part of your abdomen, above your stomach. Types of Liver Cancer are: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC)

This is the most common form of liver cancer in adults. It begins in the main tissue of the liver, the main type of liver cell. About 4 out of 5 cancers that start in the liver are this type. This causes easy bruising and beleeding; enlarged abdomen.

Bile duct cancer (cholangiocarcinoma)

These cancers can start in the small tubes called bile ducts that carry the bile that is made in the liver to the gallbladder. This is bad becasue Bile is made by the liver from waste products in the blood. If the bile duct is blocked, these waste products then build up in the bloodstream.


Most people don't have these symptoms in the early stages of liver cancer, these include Losing weight without trying, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, weakness and fatigue, abdominal swelling, yellow skin color (Jaundice). You dont usually feel pain in the liver because there are no nerve endings in the liver itslef. Some people even feel pain in the right shoulder because the enlarged liver presses against nerves that connect to the shoulder.

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Causes and Prevention

Liver cancer happens when liver cells develop mutations in DNA. Hepatitis also leads to this, diabetes, build up of fat in liver, alcohol leads to permanent liver damage and cancer, and obesity. To avoid Liver Cancer is to drink alcohol in moderation but it would be best to not drink at all. Keeping healthy food choice and weight can help and not just for this cancer. Treating Hepatitis is ideal to decrease chances of Liver Cancer.


Surgery to remove a part of the liver is an option if the tumor is small because you would need to remove some healthy tissue.

Liver transplant surgery. This would be the best choice for people with the early stages of Liver Cancer

Freezing/Heating Cancer. Cancer cells during the procedure, your doctor places an instrument (cryoprobe) containing liquid nitrogen directly onto liver tumors. A similar procedure is used with heating cells but with an electrical current.

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Blood tests may reveal liver cancer, removing a sample of liver tissue for testing, imaging tests such as an ultrasound tests. Liver tumors are usually discovered on medical imaging equipment (sometimes by accident) others are discovered due to symptoms. When you feel one of the symptoms, the doctor will run the appropriate test on you.

Frequency in Population

Primary liver cancer is the sixth most frequent cancer around the world and the second leading cause of cancer death. More than 700,000 people are diagnosed with this cancer around the world. It causes about 600,000 deaths a year. In the U.S about 33,190 new cases (24,600 in men and 8590 in women) will be diagnosed. About 23,00 people (15,870 mn and 7,130 women) will die because of this cancer. The percentege of people with Liver cancer has been rising in the past decade.

Liver cancer explained - Macmillan Cancer Support

Liver surgeon Aamir Khan talks about primary liver cancer. He explains the symptoms, possible causes, treatments, and how liver cancer is diagnosed.