Liver Cancer in Children

About Liver Cancer

The liver is one of the largest organs in the body. It helps store nutrients from food, creates bile to break down fat, and removes harmful chemicals from the body. Liver cancer develops when malignant cells form in liver tissues.

Hepatoblastoma and Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC)

There are two main types of cancer of the liver in children: hepatoblastoma and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Hepatoblastoma is the most common of these affecting children, occurring most frequently in infants and children age 2 months to 3 years. HCC occurs most frequently in children age 10-16 years. About 100 children in the U.S. are diagnosed with hepatoblastoma each year. Together, hepatoblastoma and hepatocellular carcinoma account for about 1-2% of cancers in children.

Liver, Pancreas and Gallbladder Anatomy

    Signs and Symptoms of Liver Cancer

    The most common symptom is swelling or enlargement of the abdomen caused by the tumor enlarging. Additional symptoms may include:

    • Loss of appetite
    • Weight loss
    • Nausea & vomiting
    • Stomach pain
    • Jaundice
    • Unequal growth of one part of the body compared to another
    • Early signs of puberty

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