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7 Early Signs And Symptoms Of Liver Cancer

Liver cancer is a silent killer which progresses slowly in your body and does not show any symptoms.

7 Early Signs And Symptoms Of Liver Cancer

Liver cancer does not show symptoms till the last stage

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. Liver cancer does not show symptoms till the last stage
  2. 40% patients diagnosed with liver cancer report unexplained weight loss
  3. Cancer blocks the bile ducts of the liver

Cancer is one of the deadliest diseases in the world. Millions of people succumb to this disease every year. Of the most deadly forms of cancer, there is one which usually goes unnoticed and does not get much attention. That's liver cancer. This disease is a silent killer which progresses slowly in your body and does not show any symptoms. Now this happens because the liver is that organ which keeps functioning normally even when your body is going through some serious damage.

Now, usually, this disease does not show symptoms until the last stage. But in some cases, the symptoms may show up in the early stages as well. So you need to watch for these early symptoms. If you wish to keep yourself safe from this disease, you must watch out for such symptoms and get it diagnosed in time. Keep in mind that just like other cancers, early detection is the key to liver cancer treatment.

Also read: 9 Signs Your Liver Needs A Detox

We have compiled a list of the 7 most common early signs and symptoms of liver cancer. Take note.

1. Unexplained weight loss

Watching the numbers go down on the weighing scale is something we love to look at. But it may not be such a good thing after all. If you have been eating regularly and are not under any form of stress either, then such weight loss could be serious. Unexplained and unexpected weight loss could be an early symptom of liver cancer. 40% of patients diagnosed with liver cancer report unexplained weight loss. This could be accompanied by nausea and loss of appetite. And when it is accompanied by some more strange symptoms, you must take a trip to the doctor and get diagnosed with such diseases.

weight loss

Photo Credit: iStock

2. Enlarged liver

The liver is the largest organ of your body which is present at the surface, on the right side of your abdomen. So when there are any changes like enlargement, you can feel them physically in the form of bumps and swelling. This change can be felt on the under the lower ribs. Now, this could be due to other health conditions as well so do not panic if you feel such symptoms. However, if the mass is firm, it could be a tumor which needs immediate attention.

3. Pain in the right side

On the right side of your upper abdomen, you are likely to suffer some pain and discomfort due to liver cancer. In the early stages, there rarely is an excess pain. But it gets worse when cancer progresses. You may also experience some pain on the right side of your shoulder blades. Sometimes, it can be accompanied by hiccups. The pain can come and go at irregular intervals and can be anything, from mild discomfort to excruciating pain.

stomach
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4. Nausea

When it is a symptom of liver cancer, nausea can be accompanied by loss of appetite and swelling in the abdomen. This one shows up before all other symptoms of liver cancer. When your liver fails to function properly, it is unable to filter out the harmful contents of your body. This happens as a result of weak metabolism. If left untreated, it can get worse and may turn into vomiting and complete loss of appetite. It could also be accompanied by digestive distress.

5. Itching

Sometimes, the tumor can release substances which can induce itching in the whole body. When the itching gets worse than what you can handle, it can be indicative of liver, stomach cancer, and brain tumor.

itching
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6. Yellowing of the skin and eyes

Cancer blocks the bile ducts of the liver. So in this case, the bile fluid can flow back into the bloodstream and can result in yellowing of the skin and eyes. This condition is known as jaundice. It could be accompanied by itching, dark-colored urine, and light-colored stools. Now, this may not always indicate jaundice, but it is still a serious condition and must be checked by a doctor.

7. Weakness

Excess weakness and chronic fatigue are never good. They are the initial signs of a serious health condition. Cancer sometimes messes with your metabolism and energy levels, leaving your body exhausted and ill-at-ease. So if you are experiencing it, keep on the safe side by getting it checked for liver cancer or any cancer for that matter.

fatigue

Photo Credit: istock

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information. 



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