Liver cancer occurs when the healthy cells within this organ develop and behave unnaturally. Though several factors increase one's vulnerability to liver cancer, alcoholism, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C are acknowledged to be the leading causes of the disease. According to international statistics, liver cancer is one of the most prevalent types of fatal malignant tumor. Several treatments are available, but as with all cancers, prognosis and treatment depend on the type of tumor, how far cancer has spread, the state of the liver, and person's general health.
Ascites or abdominal swelling is a distinctive symptom of liver cancer. It occurs due to the build-up of fluid in the peritoneal cavity when malfunctioning cells (cancer cells) render the liver ineffective. The abdominal swelling is often outwardly visible. A physical examination of the abdominal region can detect whether the cause for distension is ascites; an abdominal ultrasound can further confirm the diagnosis.
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