Southfield (CW50) – As the largest organ in the human body, the liver has many jobs that are vital to our everyday life. The liver stores nutrients, removes waste, filters chemicals from food, alcohol, and medicine. While you can’t live without a liver completely, you can live with only part of one. Many people can function well with just under half of their liver. Your liver can also grow back to full size within a matter of months.

3-D Model of the Liver within the Human Body

Cancer of the liver is an especially difficult form of cancer to be detected without tests due to the fact that many symptoms of liver cancer can be linked to number of other illnesses and diseases. The most common cause of liver cancer is the hepatitis B and hepatitis C viral infections. While excessive alcohol use can also cause liver cancer, it is a common misconception that it is the number one cause of the cancer. Other causes for liver cancer can be cirrhosis, obesity, diabetes, and hemochromatosis.

  • Symptoms of liver cancer –
    • Discomfort in the upper abdomen on the right side.
    • A swollen abdomen.
    • A hard lump on the right side just below the rib cage.
    • Pain near the right shoulder blade or in the back.
    • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes).
    • Easy bruising or bleeding.
    • Unusual tiredness.
    • Nausea and vomiting.
    • Loss of appetite.
    • Weight loss for no known reason.

Beaumont Hospital’s Chief Oncologist, Dr. George Howard, says that the best ways to reduce your risk of liver cancer are getting vaccinated against hepatitis B, getting tested for hepatitis C, and avoiding the consumption of too much alcohol.

To learn more about liver cancer, go to

Community Connect Host Lisa Germani, with Dr. George Howard, Chief Oncologist at Beaumont Hospitals

Dr. Howard joins Lisa Germani on Community Connect to discuss the warning signs, risks, and treatments for liver cancer.

Watch COMMUNITY CONNECT, Saturday at 7am on CW50