Overview

Tumors are abnormal masses of tissue that form when cells begin to reproduce at an increased rate. Both noncancerous (benign) and cancerous (malignant) tumors can develop in the liver.

Symptoms

Here are the most common symptoms of a hepatoma.

However, everyone can have different symptoms. Symptoms can be:

A large mass may be felt in the upper right part of the abdomen

Causes

It is the most common type of primary liver cancer. Chronic infection with hepatitis B and C increases the risk of developing this type of cancer. Others include certain chemicals, alcoholism, and chronic cirrhosis of the liver.

Treatment

The specific treatment for liver hepatoma will be determined by your doctor based on:

Treatment can include:

Surgery: In some cases, surgery can be used to remove cancerous tissue from the liver. However, the tumor must be small and limited.

Radiotherapy: Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays to kill or shrink cancer cells.

Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy uses cancer drugs to kill cancer cells.

Liver transplant

Treatment of metastatic liver cancer

The specific treatment for metastatic liver cancer will be determined by your doctor based on:

Surgery: In some cases, surgery can be used to remove cancerous tissue from the liver. However, the tumor must be small and limited.
Radiotherapy: Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays to kill or shrink cancer cells.
Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy uses cancer drugs to kill cancer cells.

Diagonsis

In addition to a full medical history and physical exam, procedures for diagnosing liver hepatoma may include:

Liver function test: A series of special blood tests to see if the liver is working properly.

Abdominal ultrasound (also called ultrasound). A diagnostic imaging technique that uses high frequency sound waves to create an image of the internal organs. Ultrasound is used to examine internal organs in the abdomen, such as the liver, spleen, and kidneys, and to determine the flow of blood through various vessels.

Computed tomography (computed tomography or computed tomography). A diagnostic imaging procedure that uses a combination of X-rays and computer technology to produce horizontal or axial images (often called slices) of the body. A CT scan shows detailed images of all parts of the body, including bones, muscles, fat, and organs. CT scans are more detailed than general x-rays.

Liver angiography: X-rays taken after a substance is injected into the liver arteries.

Liver biopsy: A procedure in which samples of liver tissue are taken (with a needle or during surgery) from the body for examination under a microscope.

Risk factor

Factors that increase your risk of primary liver cancer include:

Chronic infection with HBV or HCV: Chronic infection with the hepatitis B virus (HBV) or the hepatitis C virus (HCV) increases the risk of liver cancer.
Cirrhosis: This progressive, irreversible disease causes scar tissue to form in your liver and increases the chances of developing liver cancer.
Certain hereditary liver diseases. Liver diseases that can increase your risk of liver cancer include hemochromatosis and Wilson’s disease.
Diabetes: People with this blood sugar disorder are at higher risk of liver cancer than people without diabetes.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver: A build-up of fat in the liver increases the risk of liver cancer.
Exposure to aflatoxins: Aflatoxins are toxins produced by molds that grow on poorly stored plants. Plants such as grains and nuts can be contaminated with aflatoxins found in foods made from these products.
Excessive alcohol consumption: Consumption of more than a moderate amount of alcohol per day for many years can cause irreversible liver damage and increase the risk of liver cancer.

When to see the doctor

Make an appointment with your doctor if you notice any signs or symptoms that are worrying you.