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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Liver cancer can prevent your liver from working correctly and removing harmful material from your blood. The 2 most common types of liver cancer are hepatocellular carcinoma and cholangiocarcinoma.
Call 911 for any of the following:
- You feel lightheaded, short of breath, or have chest pain.
- You cough up or vomit blood.
- You are confused, or very drowsy and difficult to wake.
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- You have a fever.
- You have increased weakness or fatigue.
- You have appetite loss or weight loss.
- You have increased abdominal pain or swelling.
- You vomit or cannot keep food or liquids down.
- You have increased jaundice or your urine is dark.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
- Medicines may be given to decrease nausea, pain, or swelling. You may also need medicine to reduce other symptoms.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:
You will need to return for more tests. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Do not drink alcohol:
Alcohol harms your liver. It can also make your symptoms worse.
Do not smoke:
Nicotine can damage blood vessels and make it more difficult to manage your liver cancer. Smoking also increases your risk for new or returning cancer and delays healing after treatment. Do not use e-cigarettes or smokeless tobacco in place of cigarettes or to help you quit. They still contain nicotine. Ask your healthcare provider for information if you currently smoke and need help quitting.
Drink liquids as directed:
Too much or not enough liquid can cause swelling in your legs and abdomen. Ask how much liquid to drink each day and which liquids are best for you.
Eat small meals throughout the day:
You may not feel hungry, but it is important that you eat. Proper nutrition can give you more energy and help you feel better. A dietitian can help you find ways to get enough protein, calories, vitamins, and minerals. Ask if you need to limit sodium (salt).
Exercise as directed:
Exercise can help increase your energy level and appetite. Ask your healthcare provider how much exercise you need an which exercises are best for you.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.