Having one or more of the symptoms below does not mean you have liver cancer. In fact, many of these symptoms are more likely to be caused by other conditions. Still, if you have any of these symptoms, it’s important to have them checked by a doctor so that the cause can be found and treated, if needed. Signs and symptoms of liver cancer often do not show up until the later stages of the disease, but sometimes they may show up sooner. If you go to your doctor when you first notice symptoms, your cancer might be diagnosed earlier, when treatment is most likely to be helpful. Some of the most common symptoms of liver cancer are:
Other symptoms can include fever, enlarged veins on the belly that can be seen through the skin, and abnormal bruising or bleeding.
People who have chronic hepatitis or cirrhosis might feel worse than usual or might just have changes in lab test results, such as liver function tests or alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) levels.
Some liver tumors make hormones that act on organs other than the liver. These hormones may cause:
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National Cancer Institute. Physician Data Query (PDQ). Adult Primary Liver Cancer Symptoms, Tests, Prognosis, and Stages – Patient Version. Accessed at https://www.cancer.gov/types/liver/patient/about-adult-liver-cancer-pdq on March 12, 2019.
Schwartz JM, Carithers RL, and Sirlin CB. Clinical features and diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma. UpToDate website. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/clinical-features-and-diagnosis-of-hepatocellular-carcinoma. Updated November 2, 2018. Accessed March 12, 2019.
Last Revised: April 1, 2019