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Liver Cancer


Liver cancer is sometimes called a "silent disease" because there are usually no early liver cancer symptoms. Pain is a symptom of late-stage liver cancer; therefore, it is important not to wait to feel pain before seeing a doctor.
If symptoms of liver cancer are present, they may include the following:
  • A hard lump on the right side just below the rib cage
  • Discomfort in the upper abdomen on the right side
  • Pain around the right shoulder blade
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes)
  • Unusual tiredness
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite.
These possible symptoms are not sure signs of the disease. Other liver diseases and other health problems can also cause these symptoms. Anyone with these possible symptoms of liver cancer should see a doctor as soon as possible. Only a doctor can diagnose and treat the problem.
(Click Liver Cancer Symptoms for more information.)

Making a Diagnosis

If a person has possible symptoms of liver cancer, the doctor may do a physical exam and ask about the patient's personal and family medical history. The doctor may also recommend additional tests and procedures.
The exams and tests used to make a diagnosis may include the following:
  • Blood tests
  • CT scan
  • Ultrasound
  • MRI
  • Angiogram
  • Laparoscopy
  • Biopsy.


(Click Liver Cancer Diagnosis for more information about the tests used to diagnose liver cancer.)


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