The pain from liver cancer is usually concentrated in the upper right area of the abdomen, near the shoulder blades, and can sometimes spread to the back.
The liver is the largest organ in the body, located in the upper right quadrant of the abdomen. When cancer grows in the liver, it destroys liver cells and interferes with the organ’s ability to function properly. Hepatocellular carcinoma is the most common type of liver cancer. Other types, such as hepatoblastoma and intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma, account for less.
Liver cancer may not cause any symptoms in its early stages. When cancer begins to show symptoms, you may feel a dull ache in your abdomen or a sharp pain. Pain from liver cancer is usually concentrated in the upper right area of the abdomen, near the right shoulder blade. The pain can sometimes radiate to the back. Some people may also experience pain in the lower right side of the rib cage. Pain may be accompanied by swelling in the abdomen, legs, and ankles.
Cancer can start in the liver (primary cancer) or other cancers that have spread to the liver (secondary cancer) can cause pain. Pain associated with liver cancer is caused by a tumor or tumors in the liver. The discomfort can also stem from pain as an enlarged liver puts pressure on the nerves below the diaphragm. This can lead to pain in the right shoulder, as certain nerves under the diaphragm connect to nerves in the right shoulder. If liver cancer is caused by cirrhosis, sometimes the pain is not caused by the tumor but by cirrhosis. Liver cancer also causes the spleen to enlarge, leading to pain or a feeling of a mass in the upper left abdomen.
Shoulder pain is a silent symptom of this disease. The tumor can stimulate the nerves that tell the brain that pain is coming from your shoulder blades when the pain is actually coming from your liver. This pain is more often felt in the right shoulder, and may extend to the back. If you experience this condition without participating in any recent physical activity that can be explained, you should see your doctor.
Pain can also be the result of cancer treatment. Cancer drugs often cause gastrointestinal upset and nausea. In addition, patients may also experience pain after surgery. In addition to pain, other symptoms of liver cancer such as nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, bloating, enlarged liver, enlarged spleen, abdominal swelling, itching, jaundice, unintentional weight loss, fatigue.. .
Diagnosis and treatment
Early-stage liver cancer often has no symptoms. Liver cancer screening is how doctors monitor liver health for symptoms of liver cancer. To make a diagnosis, your doctor will try to rule out all other causes of your pain. The doctor will review the patient’s complete medical history and perform a physical examination such as blood tests, ultrasound, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), biopsy…
According to the sheet Healthline (USA), the pain associated with liver cancer can be treated in several ways. Pain relievers are usually given orally or intravenously. Radiation can shrink a tumor and relieve some or all of the pain it causes. Local radiation can also relieve bone pain, if liver cancer has spread there. Sometimes the pain from liver cancer can be relieved with an injection. Some people with severe pain from liver cancer may have additional pain relief methods such as acupressure, acupuncture, deep breathing, music therapy, massage.
Pain is a common side effect of liver cancer and its treatment. Patients should talk to their doctor to find the right pain reliever. You can describe to the doctor the location of the pain, the intensity, the type of pain like dull, intermittent pain, sharp pain like a pins and needles…
Although liver cancer cannot be completely prevented, people can reduce their risk by avoiding factors that cause cirrhosis, maintaining a healthy weight, getting vaccinated, etc. If you have liver disease If you have diabetes, obesity, or heavy alcohol use, ask your doctor about screening for liver cancer.
According to the Global Cancer Organization (Globocan), liver cancer is the 10 most common cancer in the world. Disease tends to increase. In 2020, liver cancer ranked 6th in the world in terms of new cases with more than 905,670 people, second in number of deaths with 830,180 people.
(Follow Healthline, Verywellhealth)