Not many. Hepatocellular cancer usually arises in the setting of cirrhosis, so these folks are (hopefully) watched by their md, otherwise rarely symptomatic until late. Cancer of the bike ducts may cause jaundice early on, but not always before it is also quite advanced. Metastatic cancer in the liver is not typically symptomatic. Pain may indicate a tumor, but again not usually, and often late.
Difficult. Many disorders predispose to liver cancer, e.g., cirrhosis, hep b and c infection, hemochromatosis, aflatoxin intake. However since liver cancer usually develops in a diseased liver, early signs of liver cancer are difficult to detect. A blood test for Alpha feto-protein may be helpful.
Usually overshadowed. By underlying liver disease. Liver cancer often occurs in people with cirrhosis, chronic hepatitis, hemochromatosis, that mask the symptoms of cancer.
See below. Primary cancer of the liver does not have specific signs or symptoms in the early stages. Later there may be weakness, jaundice, weight loss, abdominal swelling and bleeding. Metastatic cancer of the liver from other organs is far commoner than primary liver cancer. See this site for more info. Http://www. Mayoclinic. Org/diseases-conditions/liver-cancer/basics/definition/con-20025222.
Liver failure. Advanced liver cancer can lead to Jaundice (yellowness of eyes), weight loss, poor appetite and ascites. Rising bilirubin leads to liver failure, mental confusion and ultimately coma. Serious Infections can ensue as a terminal event.
Yes. Imaging.. The 2 biggest risk factors for primary liver cancer (hcc) are cirrhosis and viral hepatitis. Hcc is often detected by imaging studies performed periodically in patients with cirrhosis. These screening tests may include an ultrasound, ct scan or mri. A tumor marker (AFB) is also checked by drawing a blood sample. Early liver cancer can be cured with resection or, more often, liver transplant.
CT or MRI. Absolutely. Patients who are at high risk for liver cancer should undergo a ct scan or MRI every 6 months. High risk patients include those with cirrhosis, asians with hepatitis b who are over age 40, and sub-saharran africans with hep b over age 20. These tests allow patients to be diagnosed at the earliest stage, when the tumor is as small as 1cm in size.
Existing disease +. People with liver cancer often have underlying diseases, e.g., cirrhosis, chronic hepatitis, hemochromatosis etc. Development of liver cancer causes worsening of existing condition, plus, enlarged liver, weakness, fluid in abdomen, weight loss, jaundice etc.
Multiple. The symptoms of liver cancer really depend on what the cancer is from and where in the liver it is. Some have no symptoms at all. Sometimes they can cause abdominal pain. Others could be jaundice, swollen abdomen, easy bleeding or bruising, swollen legs, fatigue, weight loss. Some are because of the tumor and some are because of the loss of function of the liver from whatever caused the tumor.
Assume you mean. Colorectal cancer metastatic to liver? A common progression pattern for those that fail. Most are assymptomatic detected by imaging, but progression can lead to liver failure, jaundice and ascites. Some limited metastasis can be treated surgically, with intra-arteial therapy with chemo or radioactive beads. Liver failure can lead to coma and GI bleeding du to varices as well.
In situ. For any cancer, earliest stage is the formation of cancer cells with out invasion to adjacent membrane, which is rarely detected in those two cancers.