Liver cancer: Expert discusses symptoms and treatments
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Signs and symptoms of liver cancer vary from person to person, but the American Cancer Society has a list of 10 potential symptoms.
Before listing the symptoms, it is important to note that just because you have one or more of the signs does not mean you have liver cancer.
Two of these symptoms relate to pain under your ribs.
The first will relate to your liver and the second relates to your spleen.
An enlarged liver and a feeling of fullness on your right side and an enlarged spleen and a feeling of fullness on your left side are both signs of liver cancer.
Other symptoms of liver cancer are:
• Involuntary weight loss
• Loss of appetite
• Feeling very full after a small meal
• Nausea or vomiting
• Abdominal pain or pain near your right shoulder blade
• Swelling or fluid build up in the abdomen
• Jaundice (Yellowing of the skin and eyes)
The American Cancer Society adds that other symptoms include “fever, enlarged veins on the belly that can be seen through the skin, and abnormal bruising or bleeding”.
As with other cancers, there are risk factors that can determine how likely you are to develop liver cancer.
The NHS says that you are more likely to develop primary liver cancer if you are over the age of 60, although it’s most common in those over the age of 85.
You are also more likely to get it if you are a man.
If you have medical conditions such as hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, gallstones, diabetes, a parasite in the liver and HIV your risk is increased.
Your risk goes up if one of your siblings or parents has had primary liver cancer.
It is also possible to develop secondary liver cancer.
This is caused by cells from another cancer spreading from one part of your body to your liver.
There are other ways to reduce your chances of developing primary liver cancer.
These include losing weight if you are overweight and wearing protective clothes and masks if you work in a role where you’re exposed to dangerous chemicals.
Furthermore, cutting on alcohol or quitting smoking will also reduce your risk.
If you have any concerns, don’t hesitate in contacting your GP.
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