Liver Cancer - Sign & Symptoms

The signs and symptoms of the liver cancer are often hard to diagnose until the cancer reaches to the second or even later stages. However, sometimes the signs and symptoms can be noticed in early stage too. The post here briefs you about liver cancer early stage symptoms which must not be ignored. It also throws light on some other symptoms of liver cancer which are generally diagnosed at later stages.

Liver Cancer - Sign & Symptoms

Liver Cancer Early Symptoms

There are some symptoms of liver cancer which are also commonly seen in other conditions as well and therefore are hard to be associated with something as grave as liver cancer for example feeling of generally being sick or lack of appetite. These often go unnoticed or are not given much attention.

One must go for a checkup if any of the below symptoms are experienced

  • Sudden weight loss

    Weight loss without any deliberate effort should raise an alarm. It is said that weight loss of more than 10% of a person's total body weight is significant sign of any grave disease. Unless the person is following a stringent diet and there is no particular explanation behind the weight loss, then it is an alarming situation.

  • Swollen abdomen

    In liver cancer abdomen can swell because of two reasons. Firstly, liver may get enlarged due to a growing cancer which can cause a swelling in the right side of the abdomen and secondly, swelling may occur all over the abdomen due to building up of the fluid in the abdominal cavity. This condition is called ascites. Fluid accumulates there because of the congested liver. When liver get swollen it starts squeezing the blood vessels inside it. The blood is then forced to go back in the veins and this develops pressure. At this stage, fluid from the veins starts leaking causing the whole abdominal area to swell.

  • Other vague symptoms of liver cancer

    1. Not able to take the usual diet - loss of appetite
    2. Vomiting and nausea
    3. Swelling in liver, feeling of a mass at the right side of the ribs
    4. Abdominal pain
    5. Pain in the right shoulder blade

On examination the doctor may also notice the following signs of liver cancer, which may call for further detailed investigation

  • Swollen spleen
  • Jaundice
  • Swollen veins on the stomach that can be seen through the skin and irregular bruising or bleeding.
  • Hypercalcemia that causes vomiting, confusion, constipation, weakness, or any kind of muscle problems
  • Hypoglycemia which is a medical emergency that causes low blood sugar
  • Breast enlargement and/or shrinkage of the testicles in men
  • Erythrocytosis that causes a person to look red and flushed
  • High cholesterol levels

These signs and symptoms of the liver cancer can be the cause of any other liver problem, however, these symptoms should not be ignored and it is important to see a doctor to find the real cause of the problem and begin appropriate treatment.

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