Liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is a malignant growth of the hepatic tissue. This is a silent and aggressive disease that may lead to metastasis within a few months. The typical patient with liver cancer is one that is suffering from cirrhosis or have a predisposition for this disease (as in cases of heavy drinking and certain types of hepatitis infections).
One of the strategies to eradicate liver cancer is vaccination against hepatitis B virus and continuous screening for hepatitis C virus in susceptible populations. It is also vitalthat patients fully understand this disease and how to detect the early signs and symptoms of liver cancer.
The most remarkable symptoms of this ailment are as follows:
- Yellow skin tone: It is clinically named jaundice, and it results from a dysfunction in the hepatocytes. It is a common symptom in almost every ailment that involves the liver but should be differentiated with hypercarotenemia, an excess carotene concentration in the blood from eating too many carrots, sweet potatoes, and other foods with carotenoids. The main difference between jaundice and hypercarotenemia is that the former features a yellowish tone in the white portion of the eyes.
- Pain symptoms:Patients with hepatitis, cirrhosis, and liver cancer may have pain symptoms. In most cases, this type of pain is located in the right upper quadrant, However, keep in mind that not all cases of liver cancer cause pain. In the early stage of the disease, it might be rather asymptomatic, which means it has no symptoms. Thus,you won’t notice anything in particular if you don’t perform diagnostic tests. So, waiting for pain symptoms to appear is not the best way to detect liver cancer.
- There are other screening tests such as abdominal ultrasound and liver functioning tests.