What are the symptoms of liver cancer?
Liver cancer symptoms usually do not appear until the disease has spread to other parts of the body. Often primary liver cancer is discovered by doctors during screening tests for other liver conditions.
If symptoms do appear, they may include:
- Yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes (jaundice)
- Unexpected weight loss
- Pain in the abdomen or near the right shoulder blade
- Nausea or vomiting
- Darkened urine
- Lighter-colored stool
- Loss of appetite
- Bloating or a feeling of fullness
- Swelling in the abdomen
How is liver cancer diagnosed?
The medical oncologists, surgical oncologists and radiation oncologists at Miami Cancer Institute use state-of-the-art technology to pinpoint the exact type of tumor and the stage of disease to develop an effective treatment plan.
If your doctor suspects you have liver cancer, he or she may conduct a physical exam and ask about your medical history. Your doctor may also order diagnostic tests, such as blood and urine tests. Your doctor will also ask you to undergo imaging tests, such as CT scans, ultrasounds, or PET scans.
Your care team may also decide to do a biopsy of the tumor. During this procedure, we will remove a tiny piece of tissue from a tumor or suspicious area and a pathologist will examine the tissue under a microscope to see if it has cancerous cells.
Genetic testing may also be a part of your initial diagnosis and screening. This will help your care team determine the exact type of liver cancer tumor, so they can find a treatment targeted for your disease.