With liver cancer on the rise, make sure you have regular screenings if you’re at risk, and visit the doctor if you show any liver cancer symptoms.
BY MARISSA LALIBERTE
First, know that liver cancer rates are increasing
Liver cancer is fairly rare, but since 1990, its relative risk has doubled, rising from 3.5 to 6.5 per 100,000, says Otis Brawley, MD, chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society. Liver cancer symptoms don’t usually show until the cancer has reached advanced stages, so regular screenings could be key to survival rates. “If we have somebody with regular screenings and it looks like cancer, we can cure them, versus if they have an advanced disease that has spread beyond the liver,” says Ghassan Abou-Alfa, MD, medical oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. “We prefer not to see patients with symptoms.” Read on for four risk factors and four symptoms that could clue you in to signs of liver damage.