Organ Specific Cancer Facts & Symptoms

Liver, pancreatic, kidney and bladder cancers are different types of organ specific cancers. It is important to know your medical history of organ-related cancers when talking to your doctor about being screened before symptoms arise.

Liver

The liver helps to digest fat, makes substances to help the blood to clot, cleans toxins from blood, and stores sugar for energy.

Alcohol and tobacco use, as well as hepatitis and cirrhosis, can increase the risk of liver cancer.

Common Signs and Symptoms of Liver Cancer:

  • Hard lump on the right side (below the rib cage)
  • Discomfort on the right side (in the upper abdomen)
  • Swelling of abdomen
  • Pain in back or near right shoulder blade
  • Jaundice
  • Easy bruising/bleeding
  • Tiredness
  • Weakness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Feeling of fullness (after eating small meal)
  • Weight loss
  • Dark urine
  • Bowel movements that are pale and chalky
  • Fever

 

Pancreas

The pancreas aids the body with the digestion of foods and creates glucagon and insulin – hormones that control blood sugar levels.

Pancreatic cancer often forms in exocrine cells, which do not cause signs or symptoms of the cancer. It is the third leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. due to the difficulty of trying to diagnose the cancer.

 

Kidneys

The kidneys are located at the bottom of the rib cage – on each side of the spine – and are responsible for filtering waste products, excess water, and other impurities out of blood.

Kidney (renal cell) cancer is the most common form of cancer in adults. Pain medications and smoking can increase the risk of kidney cancer.

Common Signs of Kidney Cancer:

  • Blood in the urine
  • Recurring side pain
  • Lump in the abdomen

 

Bladder

The bladder is the part of the urinary tract that stores urine until ready to be released. Smoking, as well as chronic bladder infections and exposure to chemicals, can increase one’s risk.

Common Symptoms of Bladder Cancer:

  • Blood in urine
  • Painful urination

 

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