According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the percentage of Americans who get liver cancer has been rising for several decades. Liver cancer is a killer disease. Each year some 33,000 Americans are diagnosed with it, and about 27,000 die from the disease.

What is liver cancer?

Liver cancer is a type of cancer that begins in the liver. 

There are different types of liver cancer but the most common type seen in adults is hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). 

Some cases of HCC begin as a single small tumor while there are also cases in which it starts with multiple cancer nodules throughout the liver.

What are the symptoms of it?

Unfortunately, many people don’t have signs and symptoms in the early stage of the disease. 

For symptomatic cases of liver cancer, signs and symptoms may include:

  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Upper abdominal pain
  • Abdominal swelling 
  • Yellow discoloration of the whites of the eyes and skin (jaundice)
  • Chalky, white stools

Who are at risk?

You are at higher risk of developing liver cancer when you have any of the following factors: 

  1. Liver cirrhosis
  2. Diabetes
  3. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
  4. Too much alcohol consumption
  5. Constant exposure to aflatoxins
  6. Chronic hepatitis B or C infection

Can you prevent liver cancer?

You can reduce your risk of having liver cancer by keeping your weight within the healthy range, keeping alcohol consumption in moderation or none at all, getting vaccinated against hepatitis B, and protecting yourself from hepatitis C.

How can it be treated?

Treatment for liver cancer depends on several factors, including the stage of cancer, overall health, and one’s personal preferences.

Liver cancer treatment may include surgery, liver transplant, localized treatments like heating or freezing cancer cells, radiation therapy, immunotherapy, and targeted drug therapy.

Premier Surgical Associates of Knoxville and Cleveland has surgeons who are experts in surgically treating liver cancer. To request an appointment online with one of our experienced surgeons, visit