Liver cancer is cancer that starts in the cells of the liver, occurring when liver cells mutate and form tumors. There are a number of types of cancer that may form in the liver, for example, intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma, hepatoblastoma, and hepatocellular carcinoma, which is the most common.
Risk factors for liver cancer include cirrhosis; chronic infections such as hepatitis B or hepatitis C; hereditary liver diseases; diabetes; and excessive alcohol consumption. Preventative measures to minimize the chance of liver cancer developing include maintaining a healthy weight, not drinking alcohol, or only drinking in moderation, and vaccination against hepatitis B.
Symptoms of liver cancer include a loss of appetite, unexplained weight loss, upper abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, weakness, jaundice, anemia, and white stools.
Treatment of liver cancer may involve surgery to remove the tumor, liver transplant, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and targeted drug therapy. Protein kinase inhibitors are often prescribed to treat liver cancer.