Liver cancer is generally classified as primary or secondary. DNA mutations cause changes in these instructions. It helps you digest your food and removes toxins. What does it take to outsmart cancer? It is hoped that a more complete understanding of how liver cancers develop will help doctors find ways to better prevent and treat them. Hepatitis B and C and hemochromatosis can cause permanent damage and liver failure. Until we do, we’ll be funding and conducting research, sharing expert information, supporting patients, and spreading the word about prevention. This causes water to leak into the tissues around the region. Help make it a reality. wear protective clothes and masks if you work in a job where you're exposed to harmful chemicals, try to cut down on alcohol – avoid drinking more than 14 units a week. How to reduce your chance of getting primary liver cancer We couldn’t do what we do without our volunteers and donors. Page last reviewed: 6 May 2020 Some of these risk factors affect the DNA of cells in the liver, which can result in abnormal cell growth and may cause cancers to form. The leading cause of liver cancer is cirrhosis due to hepatitis B, hepatitis C or alcohol. Causes of liver cancer Hepatitis B or C viruses which result in long term (chronic) infection can cause liver cancer. Cancer Information, Answers, and Hope. Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing. The exact cause of liver cancer is unknown. The American Cancer Society couldn’t do what we do without the support of our partners. Patients with delirium will often experience changes in sleep patterns, difficulty concentrating or amnesia. For instance, if an individual has chronic infection with the hepatitis viruses then that can cause liver cancer. Learn more about these partnerships and how you too can join us in our mission to save lives, celebrate lives, and lead the fight for a world without cancer. The presence of liver cancer will often cause the liver and abdomen to swell painfully. Common Causes of Liver Cancer Although there is no direct cause of liver cancer per say; there are a number of common risk factors that are linked to the development of liver cancer, including: Age—liver cancer most often strikes those 67-years of age or older. However, there are many other causes including cancer. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier; 2020:1314–1341. Jaundice 7 – Oncogenic Viruses. Certain chemicals that cause liver cancer, such as aflatoxins, are known to damage the DNA in liver cells. Many liver cancers are also linked to your lifestyle. This inflammation is often caused by a tumor mass in the liver that causes the actual liver gland and surrounding tissues to bulge so much that it’s visible and very tender. Several different genes usually need to have changes for a cell to become cancerous. There is some evidence that betel quid, even without the tobacco causes liver cancer. Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walks, Common Questions About the COVID-19 Outbreak, Genes that help cells to grow and divide and stay alive are called, Genes that keep cell division under control, repair mistakes in DNA, or cause cells to die at the right time are called. Long-term hepatitis B and hepatitis C infection are linked to liver cancer because they often lead to cirrhosis. It's important to get any symptoms of liver cancer checked by a GP. Menu The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team. © 2020 American Cancer Society, Inc. All rights reserved. All so you can live longer — and better. Excessive alcohol use. Damage to the TP53 gene can lead to increased growth of abnormal cells and formation of cancers. Primary liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma) tends to occur in livers damaged by birth defects, alcohol abuse, or chronic infection with diseases such as hepatitis B and C, hemochromatosis (a hereditary disease associated with too much iron in the liver), and cirrhosis. In: DeVita VT, Lawrence TS, Rosenberg SA, eds. Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common type of primary liver cancer. 11th ed. 6th ed. Cancer that starts in the liver is called primary liver cancer.