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Symptoms of liver cancer

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (IHCC) often start with uncharacteristic symptomology. IHCC often causes few symptoms and first presents itself when the tumor has reached a considerable size.  

When liver cancer progresses, these symptoms will often appear over time:

  • weight loss 
  • reduced general health
  • diffuse discomfort in the area
  • lack of appetite 
  • jaundice
  • enlarged abdomen 
  • swollen ankles
  • possibly fever 

HCC is often discovered during follow-up of patients with a benign liver disease. It is detected by CT or ultrasound. A rise of α-fetoprotein (tumor marker) serum level also causes suspicion of HCC, but only half of those who develop HCC in Norway have a raised α-fetoprotein level.

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