Liver cancer symptoms are the most basic parameters confirming presence of cancerous cells and tumors in liver areas. Early signs also prompt a person to carry further diagnosis and help in early identification and tracing of cancerous polyps. One of the best ways of identifying symptoms this at the earliest is to go for regular medical checkups under proper medical prescription and attention.
Types and Role of Liver Cancer Symptoms
Liver cancer has one of the lowest first-stage survival rates among all types of cancers. According to reports published by American Cancer Society (United States of America), average chances of survival of a victim surviving from liver cancer are just 27% in the first stage. Average life expectancy goes down to around 9% in the second and third stages combined and is just 4% in the last phase. Thus, going through proper diagnosis is one of the basic requirements in proper and reliable cancer treatment.
Liver cancer early signs can be direct or indirect and may be caused due to either primary or secondary growth of tumors. Primary growth of cancer cells target mainly the liver region in initial stages. Such growth may be limited to local areas for first few stages but the tumors have tendency to spread to remote areas in final stages. Secondary growth refers to growth of tumors in one or more organs of body. Such tumors tend to metastasize in late liver cancer stages and reach liver areas through a process called metastasis. Nature of early signs can be slightly different in secondary growth as compared to primary one.
Some of the direct early signs include extreme pain in liver region, chronic liver disorders like liver inflammation, frequent swelling in liver, and detection of raised mass or polyp in the area. Such polyp or tumor may be non-cancerous in the initial phases but has very high chances of turning cancerous. Hence, timely removal of tumors is the most effective way to control growth of abnormal cells.
Other direct early signs include pains in abdominal region, unusual change in size of liver, bleeding from liver region, and alteration or change in size of abdomen. Infections and injuries in liver or adjacent regions that do not go away by general medical processes should be checked for cancerous growth.
Indirect early signs are many and may or may not be detected uniformly in all victims. Such indirect symptoms include unexpected or unnatural loss of weight and sudden loss of appetite. Jaundice, back pains, anemia, severe emesis (vomiting) on frequent basis, and alteration in size of lymph nodes near liver are some other basic indirect early signs.
Identifying symptoms in early stage can be very helpful to prompt a person for detailed diagnosis. Some of the important ways of diagnosis include MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scan, biopsy of liver or whole body, ultrasound, laparoscopy, CT (Computed Tomography) scan, and scanning or ultrasound of abdominal region. Liver function tests, X-rays, and serum alpha fetoprotein are some other ways of cross-checking presence of cancerous cells in liver.
Symptoms may vary according to age and ethnicity of the victim. Pattern of early signs may also differ according to gender of the victim. This cancer awareness provided mainly by various liver cancer support groups is extremely important in knowing basic symptoms of the disorder.