Signs and symptoms of liver cancer

In the early stages of primary liver cancer, there are often no symptoms. It is important to see your doctor if you notice any symptoms.

In the early stages of liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma), there are often no symptoms. People with long-term (chronic) liver disease may have regular tests to check their liver. If they develop liver cancer, these tests may find it before symptoms develop.

Possible symptoms of liver cancer include:

  • losing your appetite
  • feeling full soon after beginning to eat
  • weight loss for no obvious reason
  • feeling sick (nausea) and vomiting
  • feeling extremely tired (fatigued), generally weak or unwell
  • aching or pain on the right side of the tummy area (abdomen) under the ribs
  • a high temperature and flu-like symptoms
  • a swollen tummy, caused by fluid build-up (called ascites)
  • a yellow tinge to the skin and whites of the eyes (called jaundice).
  • dark urine and pale stools
  • bruising or bleeding easily

It is important to see your doctor if you have any of these symptoms, even though they can be caused by other conditions. It is especially important to get them checked if you have risk factors for liver cancer, such as long-term infection with hepatitis B or C.

We understand that showing any symptoms of what could be cancer is worrying. The most important thing is to speak to your GP as soon as possible. We're also here if you need someone to talk to. You can: