Symptoms of primary liver cancer

In the early stages of HCC, there are often no symptoms. Some people with chronic liver disease are diagnosed before any symptoms appear through tests to check how their liver is working. Possible symptoms include:

  • losing your appetite and feeling full very quickly after eating
  • losing weight with no obvious reason
  • feeling sick (nausea) and vomiting
  • feeling extremely tired, generally weak or unwell
  • aching or pain in the area of the liver
  • 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).

It’s important to see your doctor if you have any of these symptoms, even though they can be caused by other conditions as well. It’s especially important to get them checked if you have risk factors for liver cancer.

Back to Understanding primary liver cancer

What is cancer?

There are more than 200 different kinds of cancer, each with its own name and treatment.

The liver

The liver is the largest organ in the body. It carries out important functions.

Types of primary liver cancer

Primary liver cancer is rare but increasing in the UK. The most common type is called hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).