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Could My Symptoms be Signs of Liver Cancer?

Liver cancer can be either primary (originating in the liver) or secondary/metastatic (originating somewhere else in the body and spreading to the liver). Most cases of liver cancer are metastatic, with only 2 percent of all cancer being primary liver cancer. The two main types of liver cancer include hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and cholangiocarcinoma, with the more common of the two being HCC. Cancer that originates in the liver is most often caused by long-term alcohol abuse, cirrhosis of the liver, chronic infections, such as hepatitis C, or certain birth defects. Exposure to certain substances can also increase the risk of liver

cancer. Primary liver cancer is rare, however, especially in individuals who do not have risk factors. Secondary liver cancer, on the other hand, is caused by cancer that has spread to the liver from another part of the body. This type of liver cancer is often discovered while being diagnosed or treated for another type of cancer, and will often be diagnosed through scans before liver cancer symptoms are present.

Diagnosing liver cancer early on is crucial to a positive prognosis. Unfortunately, most symptoms of liver cancer do not appear until later stages, making early detection difficult. When early signs of liver cancer do occur, they typically include many common symptoms that may also be associated with other conditions, and therefore go unreported for some time. Because early detection is key to a favorable prognosis, it's important to discuss any possible liver cancer signs and symptoms with your doctor right away, especially if you are at a higher risk of developing the disease.

Answer the following questions to find out if your symptoms could be signs of liver cancer.

Do your symptoms include constant or intermittent upper abdominal pain?
Do you have yellowing of the eyes or skin?
Are you experiencing abdominal swelling?
Do your symptoms include stools that are white or chalky?
How long have you been experiencing your symptoms?
Have you been diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver?
Have you been diagnosed with hepatitis B (HBV) or hepatitis C (HCV)?
Has your doctor told you that you might be at risk of developing liver cancer?
Have you ever been diagnosed with any other type of cancer?
Has your doctor ruled out other possible causes for your symptoms?