Medical Definition of Hepatocellular carcinoma

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Hepatocellular carcinoma: A cancer arising from the liver cells (hepatocytes). Liver damage, manifested by cirrhosis (scarring), is a primary risk factor for liver cancer. Cirrhosis may be caused by viral hepatitis, primarily hepatitis B and C, alcohol abuse, hemochromatosis, certain autoimmune diseases of the liver, and other diseases that result in chronic inflammation of the liver. Symptoms include abdominal pain or tenderness, jaundice, enlarged abdomen, and easy bruising or bleeding.

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Reviewed on 12/11/2018

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