Liver cancer: What you should know

The liver is your body’s largest organ. It’s responsible for digestion, blood clotting and helping get rid of toxins. But unlike other organs, it has two blood sources. This makes the liver vulnerable to cancer cells moving through the bloodstream. The cancers that most commonly spread to the liver through the bloodstream are colorectal, breast and lung cancers. When cancer starts in the liver, it’s called hepatocellular carcinoma. This type of liver cancer can start as a single tumor or as multiple spots on the liver caused by heavy drinking, obesity or a long-term hepatitis infection. These conditions cause scarring and permanent damage, known as cirrhosis of the liver. To learn more about liver cancer symptoms, diagnosis and treatment, we spoke with Emma Holliday, M.D. Here’s what she had to say. What are common symptoms of liver cancer? Many patients don’t experience any symptoms in the early stages of liver cancer. When symptoms do develop, they may include abdominal pain or bloating, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and yellowing of the skin or eyes, known as jaundice. Keep in mind that these symptoms vary from person to person. Are some people more likely to develop liver cancer? Hepatocellular carcinoma is more common in men than women, and the average age of diagnosis is 63. Patients with cirrhosis of the liver are more likely to develop hepatocellular carcinoma, so it’s important to understand what can lead to cirrhosis: Alcohol consumption: Alcohol should be avoided. Talk with your doctor about what that means for you. Chronic hepatitis infection: Hepatitis B and C increase your risk, so it’s important to seek treatment if you...

Liver cancer: What you should know

The liver is your body’s largest organ. It’s responsible for digestion, blood clotting and helping get rid of toxins. But unlike other organs, it has two blood sources. This makes the liver vulnerable to cancer cells moving through the bloodstream. The cancers that most commonly spread to the liver through the bloodstream are colorectal, breast and lung cancers. When cancer starts in the liver, it’s called hepatocellular carcinoma. This type of liver cancer can start as a single tumor or as multiple spots on the liver caused by heavy drinking, obesity or a long-term hepatitis infection. These conditions cause scarring and permanent damage, known as cirrhosis of the liver. To learn more about liver cancer symptoms, diagnosis and treatment, we spoke with Emma Holliday, M.D. Here’s what she had to say. What are common symptoms of liver cancer? Many patients don’t experience any symptoms in the early stages of liver cancer. When symptoms do develop, they may include abdominal pain or bloating, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and yellowing of the skin or eyes, known as jaundice. Keep in mind that these symptoms vary from person to person. Are some people more likely to develop liver cancer? Hepatocellular carcinoma is more common in men than women, and the average age of diagnosis is 63. Patients with cirrhosis of the liver are more likely to develop hepatocellular carcinoma, so it’s important to understand what can lead to cirrhosis: Alcohol consumption: Alcohol should be avoided. Talk with your doctor about what that means for you. Chronic hepatitis infection: Hepatitis B and C increase your risk, so it’s important to seek treatment if you...