What is liver cancer?
There are two types of liver cancer, primary and secondary. Primary liver cancer is cancer that begins in liver cells. The most common form of primary liver cancer in adults is hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), which begins in the main type of liver cell called the hepatocyte. Secondary or metastatic liver cancer is cancer that has started in another part of the body and has spread to the liver.
The information here is about primary liver cancer.
The exact causes of primary liver cancer are not known, but some factors can increase the risk:
- Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)
- Chronic hepatitis B or C infection
- Sustained excessive alcohol consumption
Signs and Symptoms
- Upper abdominal pain
- Loss of appetite
- Jaundice (yellowing of skin or whites of eyes)
- Weight loss
- Swelling in the abdomen
A number of tests and procedures can be used to diagnose liver cancer:
Imaging tests such as ultrasound, computed tomography (CT) scan and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) produce images of the inside of the body
Biopsy is often the only certain way to confirm that liver cancer is present. It can also tell whether the liver cancer is primary or secondary
Liver Cancer Treatment
Treatment varies according to a few important factors: type of the liver cancer, stage of the cancer, health of the rest of the liver and overall health. Treatment options may include:
- Thermal ablation
- Tumor embolization
- Radiation therapy
- Targeted therapy
Sometimes, doctors may recommend a combination of more than one of these treatments.
- * All research and clinical data should be used as reference purposes only, results may vary.