Liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), is a formidable disease that affects thousands of individuals worldwide. It typically originates in the liver cells and can be caused by various factors, such as chronic liver disease, hepatitis B or C infection, alcohol abuse, obesity, or exposure to certain chemicals.
While liver cancer often exhibits no symptoms in its early stages, recognizing and understanding its warning signs is crucial for timely diagnosis and effective treatment. In this article, in line with a publication on "Cleveland Clinic", we will explore the symptoms of liver cancer, shedding light on this silent threat that demands our attention.
Unexplained Weight Loss
One of the hallmark symptoms of liver cancer is unexplained weight loss. If you notice a sudden and significant reduction in your weight without any changes in diet or exercise, it could be an indication of liver cancer.
Abdominal Pain and Swelling
As liver cancer progresses, it can cause pain and discomfort in the upper abdomen. The pain may be dull or sharp, and it can radiate to the back or shoulder.
Jaundice is characterized by yellowing of the skin and eyes and occurs when liver function is impaired. In liver cancer, the tumor can obstruct the bile ducts, leading to the accumulation of bilirubin, a yellow pigment produced during the breakdown of red blood cells.
Fatigue and Weakness
Persistent fatigue and weakness can be indicative of liver cancer. As the disease progresses, the liver's ability to detoxify the blood and produce essential proteins diminishes, resulting in feelings of exhaustion and a lack of energy.
Unusual Bleeding or Bruising
Liver cancer can interfere with blood clotting mechanisms, leading to excessive bleeding or bruising. You may notice unexplained nosebleeds, bleeding gums, or easy bruising, even with minor trauma.
Changes in Stool Color
Liver cancer can impact the production and excretion of bile, leading to changes in stool color. You may notice that your stools appear pale, gray, or clay-colored, indicating a disruption in the normal digestive process.
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