Liver Tumors

Also known as: hemangioma, hepatic adenoma, hamartoma, focal nodular hyperplasia, liver cancer, hepatoblastoma, hepatocellular carcinoma.

What are liver tumors?

Liver tumors are abnormal growths within the liver that can be either benign (non-spreading ) or cancerous. Hepatocellular carcinoma and hepatoblastoma are common types of liver cancer found in children; and boys are more often affected than girls.

What causes liver tumors? 

In most children the cause is unknown. In some instances infection or other genetic disease may increase the risk of certain tumors occurring.

What are the symptoms of liver tumors?

Liver tumors may be found by ultrasound of the fetus prior to delivery ( presenting with an increase in fluids around the fetus- hydramnios, and/or severe body swelling- hydrops ), and heart failure with breathing difficulties after delivery. Benign liver tumors ( 30% ) are usually formed from blood vessels ( hemangiomas/ hemangioendotheliomas ) and may typically not cause any symptoms. However if large, children may present with a swollen abdomen, and a growth in the abdomen that can be felt. . If liver cancer is present, children may present with abdominal swelling and pain, a mass, weight loss, pale skin and lips, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and jaundice (yellow eyes and skin ).

What are liver tumor care options?

Depending on a variety of factors ( type of tumor, stage etc ), treatment may include surgical removal and/or radiation and chemotherapy.

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: March 20, 2019 04:01 PM

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