The website eMedicineHealth offers pictures of liver cancer, including a picture of a surgically removed hepatoma surrounded by normal liver tissue. As of 2015, the website also publishes a picture of a liver transplant and a photo of a CT scan showing a cancerous liver. Liver cancer is generally a secondary cancer that results from the spread of cancer from other organs in the body, as eMedicineHealth indicates.
The liver’s high flow of blood and other less-understood factors make it a common target of cancer that spreads from the colon, breast, lung, stomach and other areas of the body, according to eMedicineHealth. However, cancer may also start in the liver as a condition known as cancer of the hepatocytes, which are the liver’s main functioning cells. Doctors identify the cancer that results as a hepatoma, or hepatocellular carcinoma. These tumors expand and destroy normal liver tissue. Hepatitis and alcohol abuse are common causes of primary liver cancer.
The symptoms of primary liver cancer are usually subtle and mistaken for other illnesses, as eMedicineHealth notes, and this complicates the diagnosis of liver cancer. Symptoms may include fatigue, weakness, loss of appetite and weight loss. As the disease progresses, more definitive symptoms occur, including jaundice, which is characterized by the yellowing of the eyes and skin. Other symptoms include dark urine and the buildup of abdominal fluid that causes an increase in the size of the abdomen.