ZocdocAnswersDo I have liver cancer?

Question

Do I have liver cancer?

previous drug addict and heavy iv opiate user and used on and off for about 13 years. When I was a teenager I overdosed on acetaminophen twice and caused liver damage and almost died the second time. When I was pregnant with my second child, I have cholestasis along with gestational diabetes with both pregnancies. About 4 or 5 months ago I noticed that I could feel something swollen under my right rib cage. Not painful though. A couple of days ago, a hard lump appeared on the right side of my stomach that is sort of tender with a constant dull pain. What could this be? I'm 28 and scared that I may have liver cancer. Also I've noticed slight swelling and tenderness under the top left rib in the middle of my stomach.

Answer

It sounds like you have been through quite a bit in the 28 years of life that you have had, and I am sorry that you are concerned about what you're feeling. Hopefully you’ll feel better soon, but it will certainly involve a physical examination by a doctor, as well as, perhaps, some lab tests, to make sure that all is well or to determine what you are experiencing. Certainly, the exposures to IV drugs, Tylenol overdose, and other liver issues are all difficult for the liver to overcome. It is impossible to say what you could be suffering from right now without more information. However, the swelling under your right rib cage is in the right area for swelling of the liver to be present. Many conditions can cause swelling of the liver, some of which are serious and some of which can be managed relatively simply. The lump on the right side of your stomach is more difficult to decipher without seeing it and knowing more about it. You are relatively young for this to be a cancer, but in order to diagnose and treat you, you will need to see a doctor. Please see a doctor, and please avoid unsafe habits in which the transmission of body fluids may expose you or others.

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