Liver Cancer (cont.)
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Liver Cancer Symptoms and Signs
One of the reasons that liver cancer is frequently hard to diagnose is that many of its signs and symptoms are usually vague and nonspecific, meaning that almost any illness can cause them. Symptoms such as weakness, fatigue, weight loss, or loss of appetite are common. Signs of liver damage may appear as the tumor grows, such as an increase in abdominal size due to accumulation of fluid around the liver and intestines (called ascites), and jaundice, a yellowing of the skin and eyes along with dark urine. Jaundice occurs because of a buildup in the blood of bilirubin, a breakdown product of red blood cells that is usually handled by the liver. More severe liver failure may cause internal bleeding and mental changes, including confusion, or uncontrollable sleepiness (encephalopathy) as the liver is no longer able to handle all the harmful chemicals in the blood. Rarely, affected people may develop fevers, night sweats, or pain.
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