Warning signs under your ribs and 16 other symptoms of the disease

LIVER cancer has a number of symptoms, some of which can be hidden such as indigestion or a feeling of fullness.

Around 6,100 people are diagnosed with the killer disease in the UK each year, with the incidence increasing steadily with age.

Liver cancer can cause pain around the lower ribs


Liver cancer can cause pain around the lower ribsCredit: Alamy

Liver cancer is the 18th most common cancer in the UK, and is relatively rarer, with more men than women.

Nine out of ten cases occur in people over 55, making age the leading risk factor.

Sadly, only 13% of patients survive liver cancer for at least 5 years, with mortality rates worsening over the past three decades.

And almost half are preventable – the leading cause of liver cancer is obesity (23%), smoking (20%), and alcohol consumption (7%).

Read on for what to look out for, as an early diagnosis offers a much better chance of successful treatment.


Pain or a feeling of fullness under the ribs could in fact be a sign of a killer disease, American Cancer Society speak.

Sensation may be on the right side due to an enlarged liver or on the left side due to an enlarged spleen in response to liver cancer.

The liver, the largest organ in the body, is located under the lower right rib cage. It can extend all the way to the left nipple.

Usually, the pain is dull and vague. Although sometimes it can be quite serious and can cause back pain.


Guts UK says that liver cancer “can cause discomfort or pain in the upper part of the abdomen.” Experts also list shoulder pain.

“Some patients may feel sick or generally unwell,” while “others have a loss of appetite.”

Other symptoms that affect digestion, according to the NHS, are symptoms of indigestion, such as feeling full very quickly when eating, even after a small meal, and a swollen abdomen that is unrelated to eating. .

In addition, liver cancer can cause jaundice, which is when the whites of the eyes and skin turn yellow. Itchy skin is another sign.

Urine may be darker than usual and stools lighter in color.

A lump on the right side of the abdomen, feeling tired or lacking in energy, and weight loss are other major warning signs.

The American Cancer Society says other possible symptoms include fever, enlarged veins in the abdomen visible through the skin, and unusual bleeding or bruising.

Charities say cancer in the liver may not cause any symptoms and can be discovered by accident.

It can be detected if a blood test or if an abnormal area is detected during the scan.


Your risk Cancer development depends on many things including age, genetics, lifestyle and environmental factors.

Some of the risk factors for liver cancer are:

  • Grow old
  • Cirrhosis – scarring from previous damage such as alcohol or infection
  • Smoke
  • Overweight
  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
  • Diabetes
  • HIV or AIDS

There are two types of liver cancer – primary and secondary, which is when the cancer has spread to other organs.

Primary liver cancer is uncommon in the UK, but rates are increasing, Cancer Research UK speak.

Dr. Renuka Lyer explains the symptoms of liver cancer Warning signs under your ribs and 16 other symptoms of the disease


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