Liver cancer is a cancer that initiates in the cells of the organ and then spreads, according to Mayo Clinic. There are many types of cancers that can form in the liver, such as intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma and hepatoblastoma. However, these cancers are less common. The most common liver cancer is hepatocellular carcinoma, as it forms in the main liver cell called the hepatocyte.
According to Mayo Clinic, the symptoms of liver cancer don’t start in the early stages. However, when symptoms do appear they would include:
- Losing weight without trying
- Upper abdominal pain
- Abdominal swelling
- Yellow discoloration
- White stools
It isn’t completely clear what can cause liver cancer, but there are some ideas. Mayo Clinic mentions in some cases, such as a chronic infection, can have certain hepatitis viruses that can cause liver cancer. Liver cancer can also occur when liver cells mutate in DNA. Mayo Clinic states that when the cells mutate, it can form a tumor within the liver.
There are different risk factors that can increase the chances of liver cancer. Mayo Clinic also discusses some of these symptoms as:
- Chronic infection with hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV)
- Inherited liver diseases such as hemochromatosis and Wilson’s disease.
- Accumulation of fat in the liver
- Exposure to aflatoxins. Crops can become soiled with aflatoxins, which are toxins produced by molds on crops.
- Excessive alcohol consumption
There are many liver cancers that are less common which reduce the chances of getting liver cancer. However, it is good to be aware of the different risk factors and symptoms of the cancers. Knowing the risk factors help you have an idea on what preventative measures to take so you can reduce the chances of getting liver cancer. Such as reducing the consumption of alcohol or reducing the amount of fat your intake.