Symptoms of primary liver cancer
Liver cancer often doesn’t cause any symptoms in the early stages, but symptoms may appear as the cancer grows or spreads.
Symptoms of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) can include:
- weakness and tiredness (fatigue)
- pain in the abdomen or right shoulder
- appetite loss and feeling sick (nausea)
- unexplained weight loss
- yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice)
- dark urine and pale faeces (poo)
- itchy skin
- a swollen abdomen caused by fluid build-up (ascites)
These symptoms can also be caused by other conditions, but see your doctor if you are concerned.
Download a PDF booklet on this topic.
Dr David Yeo, Hepatobiliary/Transplant Surgeon, Royal Prince Alfred, Chris O’Brien Lifehouse Cancer Centre and St George Hospitals, NSW; Dr Lorraine Chantrill, Head of Department Medical Oncology, Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District, NSW; Michael Coulson, Consumer; Dr Sam Davis, Interventional Radiologist, Staff Specialist, Royal Brisbane and Women‘s Hospital, QLD; Prof Chris Karapetis, Network Clinical Director (Cancer Services), Southern Adelaide Local Health Network, Head, Department of Medical Oncology, Flinders Medical Centre and Flinders University, SA; Dr Howard Liu, Radiation Oncologist, Princess Alexandra Hospital, QLD; Caitriona Nienaber, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council WA; Lina Sharma, Consumer; Dr Graham Starkey, Hepato-Biliary and General Surgeon, Austin Hospital, VIC; Catherine Trevaskis, Gastrointestinal Cancer Specialist Nurse, Canberra Hospital and Health Services, ACT; Dr Michael Wallace, Western Australia Liver Transplant Service, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, WA.
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