Liver cancer initiates from the primary liver cells. The liver is a football-sized internal organ that is positioned above the stomach and below the diaphragm. The liver is vulnerable to different types of cancer. Some of the most common ones are Hepatocellular Carcinoma, Hepatoblastoma, and Intrahepatic Cholangio Carcinoma. Studies reveal that men are three times more vulnerable to liver cancer than women. Sadly, liver cancer is one of the most deadly types of cancer, killing over 700,000 people per year. This is why it's vital to be aware of liver cancer symptoms that you can watch out for.
Do you know that the cases of cancer spreading into the liver are higher than cancer beginning from the liver cells? Cancer that spreads through lungs, colon, or breasts is called metastatic cancer. People with fluctuating sugar levels, cirrhosis, liver diseases, excess alcohol consumption, non-alcoholic fatty liver disorder, and Hepatitis B or C infection are more vulnerable to liver cancer.
Liver cancer is curable if detected in the early stages. Though, the majority of people don’t experience any unusual signs, but still, here are some common liver cancer symptoms you need to watch for!
1. Sudden Weight Loss
Sudden weight loss can never be a good sign. If you experience any unexplained weight loss, you might have liver cancer. In other words, if you are not dieting or following a strict weight loss regime, any sudden weight loss should be discussed with a doctor.
2. Loss of Appetite
The gradual loss of appetite is also one of the significant symptoms of liver cancer. At times, patients experience a lack of hunger or not wanting to eat anything throughout the day. Long-term appetite loss can also be a sign of anorexia. Make sure you don’t take instances of constant tiredness, fatigue, loss of taste, and lack of activity lightly at any cost.
The bilirubin build-up in the blood, from the Red Blood Cells break-up, leads to jaundice. It is a medical condition that arises due to non-functional or inflamed liver. In this disease, the skin and eyes of the patient start turning yellow. If you have jaundice frequently, this is high time you consult a cancer specialist.
4. Swelling in Abdomen
Liver cancer can give rise to the swollen, painful, or bloated abdomen. It is because disease continuously increases the pressure on the organ, forcing blood back in the veins, and eventually to the ascites or abdomen. It can be an uncomfortable condition, but your doctor can drain out the fluid from your stomach to make you comfortable.
5. Enlarged Liver
This condition is also known as hepatomegaly. You see, having an enlarged liver can be a sign of a severe problem and is a prime symptom of liver cancer. This condition is generally accompanied by fatigue, abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea, and jaundice. The enlarged liver can be felt as a mass accumulation on the right side, beneath the ribs. This mass is developed through swelling or abdominal bloating.
6. White Stools
Passing chalky and white stools is a sign of developing liver cancer. Not only should this, passing black tarry and dark stools or pale-colored stools, should also be watched for. Note that these symptoms will get worsened with the further multiplication of tumor.
7. Constant Fever
Unexplained and continuous fever, along with weakness and nausea, can be an alarming symptom of liver cancer. At times patients experience symptoms like continual fever, body ache, headache, dizziness, and weakness. These signs should never be taken lightly. Any instance of you having constant and unexplained fever for more than seven days should be immediately discussed with the doctor.
Liver cancer is difficult, though not impossible to cure. Unfortunately, this type of cancer is rarely detected in the early stages when it has a high rate of successful recoveries. Sometimes, doctors suggest chemotherapy directly in the liver to reduce the size of the tumor. This tumor is later removed with surgery. You can prevent your chances of contracting this disease by taking Hepatitis vaccines.
Maintain a healthy body weight to prevent any functional issues in the liver. Limit your alcohol intake as advised by your doctor. You should also avoid any encounter with Hepatitis B and C infections. Last but not least, stay positive and motivated to overcome illnesses like liver cancer. Always remember to be conscious of what is going on with your body. Look out for these seven liver cancer symptoms.