In the early stages, liver cancer shows no symptoms. However, some people may experience vague symptoms like fatigue, fever or chills.
Other symptoms of liver cancer that may eventually appear are:
The symptoms of liver cancer depend upon the location of the tumour. They also help your doctor and healthcare team determine how to treat liver cancer.
After symptom assessment and a physical evaluation, your doctor may recommend you to undergo the following tests to help diagnose liver cancer:
Complete blood count, liver function tests and tumour marker tests are done to detect any abnormalities in the parameters. Tumour markers are substances released by the cancer cells and can help identify the type of cancer. For example, in the case of hepatocellular carcinomas, the level of alpha ferroprotein (AFP) is higher than usual.
High-frequency waves are used to create an image of the liver and help the doctor spot any abnormal tissue changes.
These tests provide detailed images of the internal organs and help detect any growths or abnormalities.
A dye is injected into an artery to study any growth in liver tissues.
A small tube is inserted into the abdomen to study the liver and other nearby organs for unusual growths.
If other tests indicate an abnormal growth in the liver or nearby tissues, your doctor may advise a biopsy to determine the nature of the cells and confirm the diagnosis.
Your liver cancer treatment options depend upon the location of cancer, size and spread, type (primary or secondary), liver functioning, and overall health.
The standard treatment options for primary liver cancer are:
In advanced stage 3 and stage 4 liver cancer that has spread to other parts of the body, a combination of one or more treatments may be needed to reduce symptoms and prolong life.