5 Early Signs and Symptoms of Liver Cancer

Liver is considered as one of the major and largest organ of the human body.  It has a reddish brown color separated into four lobes with uneven shape and size.  The liver is located on the right part of the opening of abdominal below the diaphragm.  Liver has two large blood vessels, the hepatic artery and the portal vein wherein the blood is carried through.  The hepatic artery is responsible in taking the blood from the major vessel of the heart which is the aorta.  The portal vein is the one bringing the blood which contains digested food coming from the small intestine.  These blood vessels have a very tiny capillaries and each capillary leads to a lobule.  Thousands of lobules are making up the liver tissue and every lobule is made up of the metabolic liver cells which are the hepatic cells.


What are the functions of the liver?

Liver plays a very important role in a body system.  It performs several essential functions and some of the widely known are the following.

  • It produces bile which is responsible in breaking down the fats in the small intestine all through the digestion.
  • It produces certain proteins which is important in the blood plasma.
  • It helps in controlling the blood level of amino acids, forming a mass of proteins.
  • It serves as storage of iron for it is the one that processes hemoglobin.
  • It regulates the clotting of the blood.
  • It metabolizes fats, the fatty acids and cholesterol which are utilize for energy.
  • It detoxifies blood by secreting drugs, alcohol and other toxin materials.
  • It metabolizes carbohydrates and at the same time serves as a storage of carbohydrates which serves as a blood sugar that uses by the brain and the red blood cells.
  • It produces immune factors to protect the body from infections and help to eliminate bacteria from the blood.


These are all some of the various vital functions perform by the liver in a human body.  If the liver is inflicted with disease how can it perform effectively in our body?


What is a liver cancer?

Liver cancer or also known as hepatic cancer is a cancer that originates in the liver tissues.  This is also considered as the primary liver cancer.  If the cancer starts from other organ of the body and reaches or affects the liver it is considered as the secondary liver cancer or known as liver metastasis.  The most frequently types of cancer that affects liver are the lung cancer, colon cancer, ovarian cancer, prostate cancer and renal cancer.  Primary liver cancer takes place when the cells of the liver develop mutations, changes in the DNA.  Deoxyribonucleic acid or DNA is the chromosomes giving orders for each chemical processes inside the body system.  The mutations of DNA can transform these orders or instructions.  This will make the cells begin to develop unmanageable until in time it will form a mass of cancerous cells, a tumor.


Are there types of liver cancer?  What are they?

There are four types of liver cancer and they are the following.


  • The first one is the hepatocellular carcinoma which is the most frequent type of a primary liver cancer.  It begins in the major kind of liver cell, the hepatocytes.
  • The second is the cholangiocarcinoma which starts in the tiny tube-like ducts inside the liver.  This type of liver cancer is also known as the bile duct cancer.
  • The third one is the hepatoblastoma, a type of liver cancer that usually affects babies and children with young ages.
  • The last type of liver cancer is angiosarcoma or hemangiosarcoma, a type of liver cancer that starts in the blood vessels of the liver and develops rapidly.



What are the factors that may enhance the risk of getting primary liver cancer?

  • People inflicted with the infection such as hepatitis B virus or HBV and hepatitis C virus or HCV are more prone of having liver cancer.
  • People with cirrhosis increase the risk of liver cancer.
  • Diabetic people have a bigger risk of developing liver cancer than to those who are not.
  • Eating foods that are contaminated with aflatoxins have a greater risk of liver cancer.  Corn and peanuts are the mostly foods contaminated with aflatoxins.
  • Buildup of fats in the liver enhances the chances of developing liver cancer.
  • Excessive intake of alcohol everyday in a long period of years which can damage the liver permanently and can lead to cancer of the liver.
  • Obese people are also having a greater risk of having a liver cancer.


What are the signs and symptoms of early stages of liver cancer?

 1.     Loosing weight

There is a loose in weight even without trying due to loss of appetite.






2.     Abdominal pain

There is an extensive pain in the upper abdominal.






3.     Nausea and vomiting

A person with a liver cancer may experience nausea and vomiting.






4.     Weakness and fatigue

There is a feeling of weakness and tiredness even without having any physical activities.






5.     Skin discoloration

People with liver cancer develop a yellow discoloration of the skin even the white of the eyes commonly known as jaundice.






If you have these early signs and symptoms do not hesitate to consult from a medical expert to have a proper consultation.

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