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Liver Cancer

Liver Cancer

Liver cancer, also known as hepatic cancer and primary hepatic cancer, is cancer that starts in the liver.The word “hepatic” is from the Greek hêpar, meaning “liver”. Liver cancer can be primary (starts in liver) or secondary (meaning cancer which has spread from elsewhere to the liver, known as liver metastasis). Liver metastasis is more common than that which starts in the liver. Symptoms of liver cancer may include a lump or pain in the right side below the rib cage, swelling of the abdomen, yellowish skin (also called jaundice), easy bruising, weight loss and weakness. The leading cause of liver cancer is cirrhosis due to hepatitis B, hepatitis C or alcohol. Other causes include aflatoxin, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and liver flukes. The most common types are hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), which makes up 80% of cases, and cholangiocarcinoma. Less common types include mucinous cystic neoplasm and intraductal papillary biliary neoplasm. The diagnosis may be supported by blood tests and medical imaging, with confirmation by tissue biopsy.Because liver cancer is an umbrella term for many types of cancer, the signs and symptoms depend on what type of cancer is present. Cholangiocarcinoma is associated with sweating, jaundice, abdominal pain, weight loss and liver enlargement. Hepatocellular carcinoma is associated with abdominal mass, abdominal pain, emesis, anemia, back pain, jaundice, itching, weight loss and fever.

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