Hepatocellular Carcinoma Symptoms & Causes

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What causes hepatocellular carcinoma?

Liver cancer is more common in children who have an underlying abnormality or condition, including the following:

  • Biliary atresia
  • Tyrosinemia
  • Galactosemia
  • Familial cholestatic cirrhosis
  • Giant cell hepatitis of infancy
  • Fanconi anemia
  • Glycogen storage disease
  • Alpha-1 Anti-trypsin deficiency

Children who are exposed to hepatitis B or C infections at an early age are at increased risk for developing hepatocellular carcinoma.

What are the symptoms of hepatocellular carcinoma?

Each child may experience symptoms differently, and symptoms may vary depending on the size of the tumor and whether the tumor has spread.

Your child’s symptoms may include:

  • a large abdominal mass, or swollen abdomen
  • pain on the right side that may extend  into the back and shoulder
  • weight loss, decreased appetite
  • abdominal pain
  • vomiting
  • jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin)
  • fever
  • itching skin
  • anemia (pale skin and lips from decreased number of red blood cells)
  • back pain from compression of the tumor

The symptoms of hepatocellular carcinoma may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your child's physician for a diagnosis.

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