What is liver cancer?

Liver cancer is not common in the United States. Most liver cancers are hepatocellular carcinoma. These are cancers of the liver cells. More rarely, liver cancer can start in the cells that line the bile ducts, which carry bile from the liver to the gallbladder to help digest fats.

When to See a Doctor

See a doctor if you become jaundice (yellowish skin and eyes), or if you are having pain, problems digesting your food, or any of the symptoms of liver cancer. Most of the time, these symptoms will not be from liver cancer. But it helps to have them checked and find out what is causing them, especially if you have a history of liver disease, like cirrhosis of the liver or hepatitis.

Understanding Liver Cancer


Many liver cancers have no symptoms until the cancer spreads. People with liver cancer may have these symptoms, usually once the cancer is more advanced:

  • Pain or pressure on the upper right side of the abdomen or in the right shoulder blade
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Feeling full after a small meal or having no appetite
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Swelling in the liver, which feels like a lump on the right side just under the rib cage
  • Swelling in the spleen, which feels like a lump on the left side just under the rib cage
  • Jaundice. Jaundice is when the eyes and skin turn more yellow because bilirubin (bil-uh-roo-bin) builds up in the body. Usually, the liver turns bilirubin into bile and sends it to the intestines so the body can get rid of it. The person may also notice dark urine and pale, greasy stool that floats.
  • Easy bruising or bleeding
  • Fever

Personalized Treatment Plans

Our world-class physicians and caregivers apply a variety of advanced methods and therapies to reduce and remove cancer cells. Care plans involve individualized treatments based on your cancer type, stage, and location of the cancer, and other considerations.