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May 13, 2009

Liver Cancer :

There are two types of liver cancer: primary and secondary. Liver cancer is considered primary if the cancerous tumors develop in the liver. Primary liver cancer is rare, accounting for just one to two percent of malignant tumors in patients in North America. Secondary liver cancer, which is approximately 20 times more common, results when cancer cells from another part of the body (breast, lungs, etc.) spread or "metastasize" to the liver. A secondary liver tumor is often not found until it causes symptoms.

Liver cancer is more common among persons who consume large amounts of alcohol than among persons who do not drink. Liver cancer occurs more frequently in persons with hepatitis B, hepatitis C, cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) and other chronic liver ailments than in persons without those diseases. Between 50 percent and 70 percent of all liver cancer cases in the United States are associated with cirrhosis. Liver cancer is also more likely to strike men than women and persons of either sex over 40 years of age.

The symptoms of liver cancer are similar to those of other liver diseases: pain, especially in the abdominal area; unexplained weight loss; loss of appetite; pain or swelling in the upper right abdomen; and jaundice (yellowing of the skin and the whites of eyes).

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