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How does liver cancer affect the body?

Liver cancer affects the body by forming too many cells where the body does not need them, which can create a tumor. It may spread to other tissues in the body through the blood or through lymph nodes. Liver cancer impairs the function of the liver, often causing jaundice.

Dr. Jill K. Onesti, MD
Surgical Oncologist

The main way liver cancer affects the body is that the cancer takes over so much of the liver that the organ can’t function in a normal manner. This can present as a change in your blood work, bloating in your abdomen due to build-up of ascites (accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity), weight loss, vague upper-abdominal pain and vomiting with bleeding. Many people will not experience symptoms until the tumor has grown significantly.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.