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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Last Editorial Review: 5/13/2016