Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a form of liver cancer that affects more than 20,000 people in the United States every year.\nTypically, it affects people who have been diagnosed with other chronic liver diseases or infections, including hepatitis B and C, hemochromatosis, cholangiocarcinoma, and cirrhosis.\nAlcohol abuse can also lead to HCC. In fact, having more than two or three alcoholic drinks a day may increase your chances of developing HCC.\nHow is this condition diagnosed, and how treatable is this type of liver cancer? Read on for more information.\nRELATED: Quiz: Do You Know Your Organ Donation Myths from Facts?\nWhat Are the Symptoms of Hepatocellular Carcinoma?\nMany people don’t show any symptoms until the disease has progressed to a severe stage. Symptoms of HCC include:\n\nAbdominal pain\nAbdominal swelling\nFatigue\nFluid in the abdomen\nWeight loss\nJaundice or yellow tint to the skin\n\nHow Is Hepatocellular Carcinoma Diagnosed?\nTo diagnose HCC, doctors begin with a physical exam. After that, these follow up tests and procedures may be done to confirm a diagnosis of HCC.\n\nImaging studies (MRI, CT scans, abdominal ultrasounds) allow your doctor to see the size and location of a tumor and can help determine whether the cancer has spread to other areas of the body.\nBlood tests help evaluate overall liver function and whether you have been exposed to hepatitis B or hepatitis C.\nLiver biopsy allows the doctor to remove a small sample of tissue to test for HCC and help determine the presence of cirrhosis.\n\nHow Treatable Is Liver Cancer?\nDepending on the location and severity of HCC, there are multiple treatment options available.\n\nLiver surgery: If HCC is found early enough, surgery can be done to remove the tumor. This is often the most successful treatment option and can offer the best chance of curing HCC.\nRadiation therapy: If the tumor is too large to be completely removed, radiation therapy can shrink the tumor or help manage the cancer.\nChemotherapy: Local chemotherapy is used for some patients.\nLiver transplantation: If the cancer has not spread to other areas of your body, a liver transplant may be an option. During a liver transplant, the entire liver is removed and replaced with a piece of healthy liver from a donor.\n\nLiver Transplant for Liver Cancer\nAdults with HCC who are in need of a liver transplant may be able to receive one from a living donor. During a living donor liver transplant, a healthy donor has a portion of their liver removed and transplanted into the person with HCC.\nLiving donation offers many life-saving benefits, including:\n\nSignificantly shorter waiting time. Surgery can be scheduled at a time that works for both the donor and the recipient.\nQuicker recovery time. Both the recipient and donor often return to their normal, active lives within weeks to months following living donor transplant surgery.\nImproved long-term outcomes. The donor’s liver functions up until the time of transplant, so the recipient can benefit from improved long-term outcomes and a quicker recovery.\n\nIf you have been diagnosed with HCC and are in need of a liver transplant, every moment is critical. Talk to your loved ones about becoming living donors.