There are two forms of liver cancer. Cancer that starts in the liver is called
primary liver cancer
, or hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Cancer that spreads to the liver from another organ is called
metastatic liver cancer
. HCC accounts for most liver cancers, and it occurs more often in men than women.
Certain people are at higher risk for developing HCC, including those who have hepatitis or cirrhosis. Obesity and alcohol abuse are also linked to primary liver cancer. Symptoms to watch for are fatigue, loss of appetite, weight loss, jaundice (a yellowing of the skin and eyes) or abdominal pain. Many people do not experience symptoms until the later stages, so the cancer may not be found until it is advanced, making it more difficult to treat.
Treatment options for liver cancer are similar to the treatments of most cancers and can include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and, in some cases, liver transplant.