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Everything You Need to Know About Liver Cancer Symptoms
Cancer is a disease that causes rapid cell division. So much so that it grows out of control and becomes malignant. Liver cancer, as the name suggests, is one that is concentrated on the liver. And this kind of cancer is quite common, sadly enough. About 25,000 men and 10,000 women get liver cancer every year in the United States, with almost18,000 men and 9,000 women succumbing to it.
Liver cancer symptoms, female or male, really don’t change. Symptoms of liver cancer are usually caught in the latter stages, adding to the difficulty of treating them, but some liver cancer symptoms, early caught, can lead to proper treatment and cure. That is why we will be looking at some of the most important liver cancer signs in this article. So, without further delay, let us get started.
Early Symptoms of Liver Cancer
It should be kept in mind that symptoms of liver cancer in humans vary significantly from individual to individual. The conditions listed below might also be caused by other diseases or conditions as well. However, the silver lining is that the signs of liver cancer in general, whether it be primary or secondary, are identical. Primary liver cancer is one that starts in the liver, while secondary liver cancer starts somewhere else and spreads to the liver.
That being said, here are the main symptoms of liver cancer:
- A dull pain felt in the upper abdomen, near the shoulder blades
- Swelling or bloating in the abdomen that looks like a mass of growth
- Enlarging of the liver as a whole, that can be felt as a mass under the ribs
- Yellowing of the eyes and skin, much like jaundice
- Brooding or bleeding comes much easier
- Liver cancer-induced weight loss is a thing that can be unexplained by other ailments
- Tiredness and a sense of weakness all day round
- A sudden loss of appetite.
- Feeling full after having a small meal that previously was not the case.
- Enlargement of the spleen, which can be felt as a mass under the ribs on the right side
- A constant sense of nausea, coupled with the urge to vomit
- Liver pain, feverishness, dark urine, and pale or chalky stool
Of course, this is not an exhaustive list, but any of these symptoms can be tied to liver cancer or other ailments. Therefore, it is advisable to check yourself or others out when one or more symptoms manifest themselves. Getting an expert’s opinion is always better than trying to diagnose oneself.
Parallel Diseases That May Be Caused Due to Liver Cancer
The worst thing about cancer is that it seldom comes along. It weakens the body, making it easy for other diseases to get a hold of the system and make things much worse than before. Liver cancer is no different. However, there is a silver lining related to these diseases.
Due to liver cancer being horribly difficult to diagnose in its early stages, these diseases can pave the way to prognosis. Diseases that happen on account of liver cancer are most common during the beginning stages of cancer. Therefore, if signs of these diseases show up, then it is best to get a doctor’s opinion. That being said, let us look at what these diseases are:
- Hypercalcemia, or high levels of calcium in the blood
- Hypoglycemia, or low levels of sugar in the blood
- Erythrocytosis, or high amounts of red blood cells
- Hypercholesterolemia, or high cholesterol
- Gynecomastia, or the enlargement of breasts in women
- The shrinking of the testicles among men
Most of these diseases can be either seen as a physical change or show up in blood tests. Signs of liver cancer in blood work are therefore possible to see. You should talk to your doctor whenever you see results that are in line with liver cancer pain symptoms, especially if the other signs and symptoms also start exhibiting themselves.
Risk Factors That May Lead to Liver Cancer
Now, what makes people vulnerable to liver cancer? Just because you have the symptoms does not mean you have them, and just because you don’t have them does not mean you won’t get it. In this section, we will list out a few things that might make individuals more vulnerable to liver cancer:
- Being obese or overweight
- Being infected with Hepatitis B or C for a long time
- Alcohol consumption and heavy cigarette smoking
- Cirrhosis, scarring of the liver, which is caused by alcohol and Hepatitis, can also make you vulnerable.
- Being diabetic
- Aflatoxin is a kind of fungus that grows on foods that have not been stored properly. Consuming foods with this substance can increase the risk for liver cancer.
- Hemochromatosis is a condition where the body takes in and stores more iron than it needs. This is something that can lead to liver cancer.
- Any kind of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, which creates an extra build-up of fat in the liver not caused by alcohol, can also increase the risk of contracting liver cancer.
These risk factors determine the likelihood of a person contracting liver cancer, but there are also things that you can do to reduce this risk. We mention some things you can do in the next section.
How to Reduce the Risk of Liver Cancer
There are a few things that you can do that will help you reduce the risk of getting liver cancer:
- Keep your weight healthy and take steps to avoid obesity. Exercise and eat a balanced diet.
- Get vaccinated against Hepatitis B.
- Get tested for Hepatitis C and get proper care if you have it.
- Avoid smoking cigarettes. Quit altogether if you can.
- Say no to alcohol. It does your liver no good in the long run.
These may seem like small, basic things, but they all add up to not only keep you safe from liver cancer but also improve the quality of your life as a whole.
Don’t Face It Alone
Cancer is a word that is best spoken about in whispers – that is what most people will have you believe. The chances are high that you will know someone who has seen loved ones suffer immensely at the hands of this deadly disease. For them, this avoidance is natural. Nobody wants to be reminded of and talk about their traumas. However, we must do the exact opposite.
Cancer is a potent disease, to be sure, but many forms of it are treatable if diagnosed early. More and more people need to know the signs and symptoms of liver cancer. The more they know, the more aware they will be, and the better a position they will be in to advise and guide others into seeking treatment. An aware society is what will help push the mortality rates down.
The contents of this article are aimed to do just that. Make constant and consistent diagnoses a norm, and reach out to us today if you feel yourself or a loved one suffering from the symptoms we have presented. With years of experience at our beck and call, we will take care of your every need. Call All American Hospice today to book an appointment.