Liver cancer starts in the cells of the liver. In the US, it is a fairly common cancer, affecting more than 39,000 adults each year. The most common form is hepatocellular carcinoma, which forms as many small cancerous nodules. Liver cancer also can start in the bile ducts.
Receive advanced, personal care for liver cancer in Sacramento, CA or the surrounding areas at Dignity Health Cancer Institute of Greater Sacramento. Our trusted doctors and nurse navigators will be with you every step of the way, from diagnosis to treatment. We take a collaborative, multidisciplinary approach and use the latest treatments to provide our patients with exceptional care. Find a Doctor online or by calling (888) 800-7688.
What Causes Liver Cancer?
Researchers don’t know exactly what causes cancer, including liver cancer. However, there are certain risk factors that make you more likely to develop it, including:
- Age 60 or older
- Heavy alcohol use
- Chronic hepatitis B or C infection
- Male gender
- Liver cirrhosis (scarring of the liver)
- Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)
- Type 2 diabetes
Liver Cancer Symptoms
Liver cancer typically does not cause symptoms early in the disease. When signs and symptoms develop, they can include:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Appetite loss or feeling full after small amounts of food
- Easy bruising or bleeding
- Unintended weight loss
- Mass under the ribs
- Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice)
- Pain or swelling in the abdomen
- Weakness or fatigue
Other liver conditions, such as inflammation or infection of the liver, share some of these symptoms. It’s important to see your doctor at Dignity Health as soon as possible if you notice these symptoms. Any liver condition can have potentially serious complications. The earlier you seek a diagnosis, the better the outcome is likely to be.
Liver Cancer Prevention & Treatment at Dignity Health
Prevention strategies for liver cancer involve controlling your risk factors. This includes:
- Avoiding and treating hepatitis
- Stopping smoking
- Limiting alcohol use
- Maintaining a healthy weight
Talk to your doctor if you need help making lifestyles changes to lower your liver cancer risk factor.
There are several treatment options for liver cancer available at Dignity Health, including chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapy, and surgery. Tumor ablation and embolization are also options. Ablation destroys the tumor using heat, cold, or another form of energy. Embolization blocks blood flow to the tumor, essentially starving it of oxygen and nutrients it needs to grow. Your treatment choices largely depend on the stage of liver cancer and the health of the rest of the liver.
As you undergo liver cancer treatment, your doctor, nurse navigator, and other care team members will do everything we can to help you understand what to expect and how to prepare. For extra encouragement, ask us about joining one of our support groups to meet other cancer patients. Dignity Health Cancer Institute of Greater Sacramento provides expert liver cancer treatment in the Greater Sacramento area.