Signs and symptoms

Signs and symptoms of liver cancer

In the early stages, liver cancer may not have any symptoms, or they might be hard to spot.
Symptoms of liver cancer:

  • Your skin and/or white of your eyes turn yellow (jaundice). You could also have itchy skin, darker urine or paler stools than usual
  • Losing weight without trying to
  • Loss of appetite and feeling full soon after starting to eat
  • Feeling sick (nausea) or being sick and having indigestion
  • Aching or pain in the right side of your abdomen near the ribs, sometimes there can also be a lump or swelling of the tummy, or pain in the right shoulder
  • Feeling generally unwell and fatigued

These symptoms can be caused by other conditions. But it is important to get them checked by your doctor or nurse. It is especially important to get them checked if you have risk factors for liver cancer.

We understand that showing any symptoms of cancer is worrying. The most important thing is to speak to your GP as soon as possible.

Signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer

Pancreatic cancer may only cause vague unexplained symptoms, but knowing the signs are key to early diagnosis:

  • Pain – usually in the abdomen or back
  • Weight loss
  • Jaundice – yellowing of the skin and/or eyes which may cause itchiness
  • Loss of appetite or feeling full easily
  • Stool changes called steatorrhea- pale, smelly, runny, oily and floating
  • Pancreatitis
  • New onset diabetes
  • Abdominal bloating – extra fluid gathering in the abdomen known as ascites
  • Digestive problems- wind, indigestion, nausea

Signs and symptoms of biliary tract cancers

Symptoms of biliary tract cancers:

  • Sickness
  • High temperatures (fevers)
  • Weight loss
  • Pain or discomfort in the tummy (abdomen)
  • Loss of appetite

If the cancer blocks the bile duct, it may stop the flow of bile from the gallbladder into the small bowel. This causes bile to flow back into the blood and body tissues. This can lead to:

  • The skin and whites of the eyes becoming yellow (jaundice)
  • The urine becoming a dark yellow colour
  • Pale stools (bowel motions)
  • Itchy skin

These symptoms may be caused by other problems, such as gallstones or infection. But it’s important to get them checked by your doctor.

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