In the early stages of primary liver cancer, people may not have any major symptoms, states the American Cancer Society. It is in the later stages that symptoms occur and can include abdominal pain in the upper right quadrant of the stomach, spleen or liver enlargement, jaundice, loss of appetite, weight loss and inflammation of the abdomen, relates the Mayo Clinic.
Liver cancer starts in the liver cells, and hepatocellular carcinoma is the most common type of liver cancer that affects people. Some risk factors for developing primary liver cancer are liver cirrhosis, hepatitis B and C infections and alcohol abuse that leads to liver scarring, relates the Mayo Clinic.
There are different tests used to diagnosis liver cancer such as CT scans, MRI, blood tests and a liver biopsy. Once a diagnosis is made, treatment options depend on its stage. There are four stages. The first stage involves one tumor in the liver, and the other stages involve the spreading of cancer in the liver, until in stage IV, the cancer has traveled to other parts of the body or lymph nodes, explains the Cleveland Clinic. Treatment can involve chemotherapy, radiation, surgical removal of liver parts, radio frequency ablation, ethanol injections into the tumor and liver transplant, according to the Mayo Clinic.