Some cancers grow more quietly than others. This is the case with liver cancer. However, certain warning signs, even if they are not specific, can suggest it. What are they ? Let’s take stock with Dr Pauline Guillouche, gastroenterologist, specialist in liver diseases at the Jules Verne clinic in Nantes.
Liver cancer, like some other cancers, can take time to become symptomatic. “Liver cancer is usually silent, giving no symptoms for a long time” explains Dr. Pauline Guillouche, gastroenterologist, specialist in liver diseases at the Jules Verne Clinic in Nantes. Are there warning signs of the disease? Here are six, which can sometimes be linked to this type of cancer.
Yellowing of the skin or jaundice
In some liver cancers, the skin and whites of the patient’s eyes may turn yellow. This pathology, which is commonly called jaundice or in medical terms, jaundice, does not only occur in this context. “Jaundice or jaundice in the context of liver cancer is rather rare. It occurs in cases of compression of the bile ducts. It can be caused by a tumor, yes, but not always. In the case of cirrhosis, at an advanced stage, it can also appear. explains the specialist.
A swollen belly
In the context of liver cancer, we can find a swollen stomach. “This sign suggests ascites, which is the presence of fluid in the stomach. It is not a specific sign of liver cancer, it can exist in other cancers but also in the context of advanced cirrhosis.” adds the expert.
A bump on the right side
Could a lump on the right side of the abdomen be a sign of cancer? According to Dr. Guillouche, “It is very rare to discover cancer in this way. It is possible to palpate the liver during clinical examination and feel it very large, but it will then be a very advanced cancer and not a precursor sign of the disease. she believes. “In the same way, pain on the right side of the abdomen, in the liver, should not systematically suggest cancer..
Itchy skin can occur when bile doesn’t pass through the bile ducts very well. Its accumulation under the skin can cause itching. “But in case of skin itching, liver cancer is not the first cause that we will think of” explains Pauline Guillouche.
While unexplained weight loss can indicate the presence of cancer, it is not a specific symptom of liver cancer. “As with all cancers, there may be weight loss in liver cancer, but it is not specific.” confirms the specialist.
Loss of appetite
“Like weight loss, loss of appetite is not a specific sign linked to liver cancer. indicates the expert. In all cases, if one or more of these symptoms are present, the specialist reminds you of the importance of consulting a doctor. “When you experience one of these symptoms that persists over time, you should consult for more in-depth tests, such as an ultrasound and a blood test, in order to be sure..