Like tumors in other parts of the body, liver tumors may be benign or malignant. Benign tumors are very rare and are usually detected by routine examination or examination for some other problem. If they increase significantly and burst, such tumors can cause a serious, acute condition – an acute abdomen. If (and when) discovered, benign tumors can usually be removed by surgery.
There are two types of malignant (cancerous) tumors. In most cases it is about metastases, i.e. secondary forms of malignant tumors that have developed in other parts of the body and are thus spread to the liver by the bloodstream. Approximately one third of malignant tumors that begin to metastasize spread to the liver through this path; in some cases, secondary cancer in the liver draws attention to the primary cancer in the other part of the body (for example, see lung cancer article). Cancer may also begin to develop in the liver (primary liver cancer), although such cases, as well as benign liver tumors, are very rare.
If the tumor of the liver is of a secondary type, symptoms typical for the primary tumor will appear. With the development of the liver cancer, the patient will get symptoms such as loss of appetite, weight loss, poor digestion and discomfort in the abdominal cavity. Usually a jaundice appears, so the skin and sclera turn yellow.
What to do?
If you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above, contact your doctor (especially if a jaundice develops).
Unfortunately, prospects are bad if cancer is spread to the liver, and the same applies to primary malignant liver tumors. In some cases, progression of the disease may be slowed down by cytostatics.