Metastatic melanoma to the liver can give rise to various symptoms. These appear when the cancer starts eroding the liver's normal function.
Often, people feel a general lack of wellbing along with low energy levels. Metastatic melanoma to the liver can also result in symptoms like:
- Loss of appetite
- Feeling sick (nausea)
- Weight loss
- A heavy, dragging feeling on the right side of the stomach under the lower ribs (this is the part of the body where the liver is found).
Metastatic melanoma to the liver can also cause pain or discomfort in the upper part of the stomach. This is caused by the liver becoming larger. The pain is often worse when bending forwards.
Meanwhile, the right shoulder often becomes painful too. Known as ‘referred’ pain, this is caused by the swollen liver pressing on nerves that run up to the shoulder.
Metastatic melanoma to the liver can also cause the skin and whites of the eyes to turn a yellowish colour. This is called jaundice. Jaundice can also be associated with itchy skin, darker-coloured urine and pale stools. In the later stages of the disease, patients may also experience fevers, shivering and night sweats.
Ascites are another possible symptom. These are swellings in the stomach caused by a build-up of fluid.
Metastatic melanoma to the liver can take a long time to show any symptoms. This is because the liver is resilient and can carry on working even when some of it is out of action. Sometimes, there are no symptoms. In these cases, the disease may only be detected through routine tests.