Liver Cancer

The liver is the largest internal organ, performing a number of vital functions:

  • Filters the blood from the stomach, intestines and spleen
  • Removes toxins from the blood, including medication
  • Regulates and stores blood sugar
  • Helps with digestion
  • Works as part of the body’s immune system

About 41,000 new cases of liver cancer are expected to be diagnosed in 2017. Liver cancer occurs when the cancer cells grow in the liver. Cancerous tumors can also metastasize (spread) from other cancer sites in the body.

The cancer specialists at SSM Health understand that cancer is a multistep journey, requiring regular care and visits with specialists across the medical spectrum. You can rest assured that your doctors are here to help you through your liver cancer diagnosis and life beyond.

Types of Liver Cancer

There are three primary types of liver cancer found in adults:

  • Hepatocellular carcinoma: most common
  • Bile duct cancer (also known as cholangiocarcinoma): originates in cells lining the bile ducts
  • Angiosarcoma and hemangiosarcoma: begins in cells lining the liver’s blood vessels

Signs & Symptoms of Liver Cancer

Typically, symptoms of liver cancer do not present themselves until advanced stages of the disease. These symptoms can include:

  • Upper abdominal pain or discomfort
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Jaundice
  • White, chalky stools

Treating Your Liver Cancer

Treatment of liver cancer ultimately depends on your overall health, the extent of the disease and your tolerance for the available therapy options. You and your doctor will work together to find the most effective treatment for your case.

Find an SSM Health cancer specialist today and start your road to wellness. We’ll be here to answer all of your cancer questions.

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