The liver sits in the upper right portion of the abdomen, above the stomach and below the diaphragm. Liver cancer occurs when cells in this area start to grow out of control.
What are the risk factors and symptoms of liver cancer?
Several factors increase the risk of developing liver cancer, particularly recurring infection from hepatitis viruses. Other risk factors include:
- Hepatitis B or hepatitis C virus
- Inherited liver diseases
- Fatty liver disease
- Exposure to aflatoxin
- Excessive alcohol use
- Polycystic liver disease
- HIV infection
- Exposure to certain chemicals
Some common symptoms of liver cancer include:
- Dark urine
- Abdominal swelling
- Jaundice (yellow color to skin and eyes)
- Nausea and vomiting
- Pain in upper abdomen
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
How do you screen for liver cancer?
If you experience the symptoms above, your doctor may order tests or procedures to make a diagnosis. Some of the tools your doctor may use to diagnose liver cancer include:
- Blood tests
- Liver biopsy
- Imaging, including MRI, CT, or ultrasound
What is the treatment for liver cancer?
Your course of treatment depends on many factors, including your age and general health. Some of the treatments we provide for liver cancer patients include:
- Radiation therapy
- Partial hepatectomy or liver resection
- Liver transplant
The multidisciplinary team at St. Luke’s Health works with patients to recommend what treatment options are best for each individual case and each individual person. Talk to your physician for more information.