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Liver Cancer

Updated: Oct 13, 2018

Liver cancer is cancer that begins in the tissues of the liver. It's the fourth most common cause of cancer death in the world, accounting for 782,000 deaths each year, according to the World Health Organization

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) estimates there was 42,220 new cases of liver cancer in 2018 and 30, 200 deaths. Between 2008 and 2014, approximately 17.7 percent of people diagnosed with liver cancer survived past five years.


Symptoms, if they do appear, can include a hard lump or pain on the right side of the abdomen, abdominal swelling, loss of appetite, unexplained weight loss, nausea and jaundice.

Diagnosis & tests

Physicians conducting routine physical examinations may be able to detect an enlarged, tender liver, and they can further confirm their findings through abdominal ultrasound and CT scans, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Treatment & medication

The common treatments available to combat liver cancer are surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. The type of treatment will depend on the type and the stage of cancer being treated, according to the National Cancer Institute.


If the liver is damaged for a long time as a result of hepatitis, it can increase the risk of liver cancer. Vaccinations against hepatitis B have shown to be an effective way to prevent HCC, according to the NCI. (There is no vaccine to prevent against Hepatitis C).

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