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Liver Cancer Symptoms & Diagnosis


Symptoms of liver cancer in the early stages are vague. They often go unnoticed.

Liver cancer can cause the following symptoms:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Pain in abdomen
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Nausea
  • Dark urine
  • Excessive itchiness of the skin
  • Confusion and increased sleepiness
  • Yellowing of the skin and/or the whites of the eye
These may also be caused by other, less serious health conditions. See a doctor if you have these symptoms.


Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.

Tests may include:

  • Blood tests—to see how well the liver is functioning or to find substances in the blood that indicate liver cancer may be present
  • X-ray—of the chest and abdomen
  • Angiogram—x-rays of blood vessels
  • CT scan—a type of x-ray that uses a computer to make pictures of the inside of the liver
  • MRI scan—a test that uses magnetic waves to make pictures of the inside of the liver
  • Laparoscopy—a thin, lighted tube inserted through a small incision in the abdomen to look at the liver
  • Biopsy—removal of a sample of liver tissue to test for cancer cells

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2023 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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