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Liver tumors do not always cause symptoms. When they do, however, the symptoms may include a full feeling in the abdominal area as well as discomfort or outright pain. Depending on the type of tumor involved, a patient may also experience appetite changes and gastrointestinal upset. Some people also experience fatigue; swelling; weight loss; and yellowing of the eyes and skin, a condition known as jaundice. It is important to keep in mind, however, that many people do not experience any symptoms at all during the earliest stages of tumor development.
Often, a person with liver tumors is completely unaware of their existence at first. This is due to the fact that liver tumors may not cause symptoms while they are very small. When they initially start causing symptoms, people might easily mistake them for symptoms of other conditions. For example, loss of appetite may fail to cause alarm in many cases, and the weight loss that may accompany it is easy to attribute to having less appetite. As the tumors grow, however, symptoms are more likely to develop and a person may have a harder time attributing them to innocent causes.
When a person develops symptoms of a liver tumor, they often experience changes in the way the abdominal area feels. For example, a person may have a feeling of fullness or note discomfort or pain in the upper-right part of the abdomen. Sometimes a person may also notice swelling in the area of his liver when he has a tumor.
Sometimes gastrointestinal changes and weight loss develop as symptoms of a liver tumor. For example, a person who has a liver tumor may have less of an appetite than usual and experience unexplained weight loss. In some cases, he may also deal with nausea and vomiting as a result of the tumor.
Other symptoms that may indicate a liver tumor are fatigue and a general feeling of being unwell. Sometimes a person may also experience jaundice as a result of this condition. Jaundice is discoloring of the whites of the eyes and skin that makes them appear yellow.
Many of the symptoms of a liver tumor are similar to those of other conditions. A doctor's evaluation is necessary to determine their cause. For this reason, a person is usually advised to seek medical attention if he has lasting symptoms that could indicate the presence of a tumor.