Symptoms of Liver Cancer
Liver cancer symptoms often do not show up until the later stages of the disease, but if you go to your doctor when you first notice symptoms, your cancer might be diagnosed earlier, when treatment is most likely to be helpful.
Symptoms related to liver cancer may include the following:

  • Weight loss (without trying)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Feeling very full after a small meal
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • An enlarged liver, felt as a mass under the ribs on the right side
  • An enlarged spleen, felt as a mass under the ribs on the left side
  • Pain in the abdomen or near the right shoulder blade
  • Swelling or fluid buildup in the abdomen
  • Itching
  • Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice)

Many of the signs and symptoms of liver cancer can also be caused by other conditions or liver problems. If you have any of these issues, see your doctor right away so that the cause can be found and treated, if needed.
Diagnostic Tests for Liver Cancer
If your doctor finds something suspicious during a screening exam, or if you have symptoms of liver cancer, they will probably recommend one or more exams and tests to find the cause.

  • Medical history and physical exam, which may include your personal and family history and a physical examination.
  • Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) blood test: When AFP is found in the blood of adults, it suggests that liver or other cancers are possible.
  • Ultrasound uses sound waves to create a picture of the inside of your abdomen and other internal organs.


Our physicians specialize in managing liver cancer at the following convenient Houston Methodist Cancer Center locations.