7 Signs and Symptoms of Liver Cancer that You Shouldn't Underestimate

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Cancer cells can grow anywhere, including your liver. If it is not treated promptly with proper treatment, cancer cells can malign and continue to damage the surrounding tissue causing fatal complications. Unfortunately, many people don't realize they have this disease. Until now there is also no medical test available specifically to detect liver cancer. Therefore you must know what signs and symptoms of liver cancer as early as possible through the following review.

Signs and symptoms of liver cancer that you need to pay attention to

The liver is an important organ whose task is to filter and cleanse the blood of harmful substances, digest fat, make proteins, and store glycogen as an energy source. Well, this organ consists of various cells. If liver cells work or grow abnormally, liver cancer can occur.

Liver cancer occurs due to cancer cells attacking the liver directly (primary liver cancer) and due to the spread of cancer cells in other tissues that have reached the liver (liver metastasis). Primary liver cancer usually causes symptoms that are relatively earlier compared with metastatic cancer.

Liver cancer has several types, but generally causes common symptoms such as:

 1. Lump in the stomach
The appearance of a hard lump or swelling in the area below the right side of the rib cage, is the beginning of a sign of liver cancer. This lump sometimes causes no pain, but will make you feel uncomfortable. If pain appears in the upper left abdominal area, that means liver cancer has caused the spleen to swell.

2. Right-sided abdominal pain
Swelling of the liver that continues to occur will cause great pressure on the tissue or nerves around it. As a result, pain will appear around the right side of the abdomen.

You may feel a stomach ache on the right when you take a deep breath because the pressure below the right rib cage will get bigger.

3. Pain in the right shoulder
The amount of pressure due to swelling that affects the nerves can spread to the shoulder area. Shoulder pain is a warning that the problem area is not only the shoulder blade but can also come from the liver.

Although generally the pain will appear around the right shoulder, some patients also feel pain on both sides of the shoulder even to spread to the back.

4. Yellow skin
Skin discoloration, the whites of the eyes, and nails that turn yellow are common symptoms of jaundice. Jaundice results from accumulation of bile salts in the skin because the liver is not functioning properly.

Usually these symptoms appear accompanied by the appearance of itching on the skin because liver function does not work properly. In addition, some people with this condition experience changes in the color of urine to become pale or whitish.

When viewed as a whole, the symptoms of liver cancer are almost similar to bile cancer (cholangiocarcinoma). However, the symptoms of jaundice will appear first in people with bile cancer.

5. Digestive problems and shortness of breath
In addition to swelling, liver cancer will also cause fluid buildup in the stomach (ascites). This condition makes the stomach become bloated, sometimes making the stomach nauseous and several times vomiting.

This digestive disorder makes you full faster and has no appetite. If left unchecked, the nutrients needed by the body are not fulfilled and the weight will continue to decline.

In addition to causing digestive disorders, fluid that continues to accumulate can enter the lungs and cause breathing problems, such as shortness of breath.

6. Fatigue
Fatigue is a common symptom experienced by all cancer patients. However, fatigue due to cancer is different from ordinary fatigue which will disappear if you have rested. Cancer fatigue usually persists for 6 to 12 months.

7. Rare symptoms
In certain cases, liver cancer can cause rare symptoms, such as gynecomastia (enlarged male breasts), hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), and shrinking testes, the condition occurs because the function of the liver to produce certain hormones is impaired.

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