Your liver performs an essential role in your physical health, working to remove toxins from your body and help you digest your food. Among the different types of liver disease that can damage this vital organ, liver cancer can be a serious cause for concern.
Cancers can appear in many parts of your body. If you have liver cancer, the cells in your liver start to mutate at the level of their DNA. DNA mutations can cause your cells to grow improperly, damaging the function of the organ as a whole. Cancerous cells in your liver may eventually come together to form a mass called a tumor, potentially requiring surgical removal.
From our offices at Vascular Institute of New York in Borough Park, Brooklyn, and New York City, vascular and endovascular surgeon Enrico Ascher, MD treats new and existing patients with a variety of liver complaints, including liver cancer. Here are some of the signs and symptoms of liver cancer he advises his patients to watch out for.
1. Pain in your abdomen
One of the first signs of liver cancer is pain in and around the area of your upper abdomen where your liver is located. Abdominal pain can be hard to pin down, but can indicate serious conditions like liver cancer, as well as simple indigestion, especially if it persists when you’ve been eating simply.
2. Unexplained fatigue
If you're battling liver cancer, you might find yourself tiring easily, with no clear reason. You experience fatigue as your body struggles to cope with your liver cancer, responding to mutating cells.
3. Retaining fluid in your abdomen
Liver cancer may cause you to retain fluids in your abdomen, causing feelings of heaviness and swelling due to lack of correct liver function.
When you have jaundice, the whites of your eyes and the general tone of your skin appear yellow and discolored. As your liver starts to shut down, symptoms of jaundice indicate the loss of toxin filtering in your system.
5. Weight loss and loss of appetite
If you're losing weight without doing anything to change your diet or lifestyle, liver cancer could be the culprit. Liver cancer can also cause you to lose your appetite, making food disinteresting and mealtimes a chore.
6. Nausea or vomiting
In addition to lack of appetite, liver cancer can cause you to feel nauseous, or to vomit after eating, as your digestive system struggles due to reduced liver function.
If you have any of these symptoms it doesn't necessarily mean you have liver cancer. However, you should get yourself evaluated by a professional right away. Dr. Ascher can diagnose your liver issues and recommend the best course of treatment for your health and wellness needs. With the right treatment regimen, you have every hope of a full recovery, especially if we can catch your liver cancer early.
To schedule an initial consultation appointment with Dr. Ascher and discuss your liver-related symptoms, contact Vascular Institute of New York today. You can book your appointment over the phone or with the online tool.