Liver cancer treatment options will be thoroughly explained and any questions you may have will be answered as soon as your diagnosis has been given. Decisions regarding the course of treatment are typically made according to the stage of the liver cancer. Surgery and chemotherapy are the main treatments for primary liver cancer; however, sometimes treatments are used in combinations. The treatment for liver cancer that is most effective for a patient depends on the type of the liver cancer, its location in the liver, the stage of the cancer, and the patient’s general health.

Liver Cancer Symptoms

Symptoms of liver cancer may include the following:

  • Weight loss – losing more than 10% of your body weight with no obvious explanation should be investigated by your physician
  • Swollen abdomen – this could be a result of the cancer causing the liver to grow or because of fluids building up in the abdomen (known as ascites)
  • Yellowish skin – jaundice is a yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes which is a possible symptom of liver cancer
  • Dark colored urine
  • Loss of appetite over a period of a few weeks
  • Being sick
  • Feeling full or bloated after eating (even after a small meal)
  • Pain or discomfort in the abdomen
  • Itching
  • Sudden worsening of health
  • High temperature and sweating

Liver Cancer Causes

The exact cause of liver cancer is not known. The following are risk factors that may contribute to developing liver cancer:

  • Cirrhosis – scarring of the liver due to previous damage increases the risk of developing liver cancer
  • Infection with hepatitis viruses – long term infection with hepatitis B or C increases the risk of developing primary liver cancer
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes – people with diabetes are 2 to 3 times more likely to develop liver cancer than people without diabetes
  • Low immunity – HIV/AIDS patients are 5 times more likely to develop liver cancer than people without diabetes
  • Anabolic steroid use – Long term users of anabolic steroids are at a higher risk of developing liver cancer
  • Family history – a study has shown that people who have a first degree relative diagnosed with liver cancer are 4 times more likely to develop liver cancer themselves

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