(See also Overview of Liver Tumors Overview of Liver Tumors Liver tumors may be noncancerous (benign) or cancerous (malignant). Cancerous liver tumors are classified as primary (originating in the liver) or metastatic (spreading from elsewhere in the... read more .)
Hepatocellular adenomas occur mainly in women of childbearing age, particularly those who use oral contraceptives Oral Contraceptives Contraceptive hormones can be Taken by mouth (oral contraceptives) Inserted into the vagina (vaginal rings) Applied to the skin (patch) Implanted under the skin read more .
Usually, these tumors cause no symptoms, so most remain undetected. Large adenomas may cause pain in the upper right part of the abdomen. Rarely, a hepatocellular adenoma suddenly ruptures and bleeds into the abdominal cavity, requiring emergency surgery. Very rarely, these tumors become cancerous.
An adenoma is usually suspected when an imaging test Imaging Tests of the Liver and Gallbladder Imaging tests of the liver, gallbladder, and biliary tract include ultrasonography, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography... read more , such as ultrasonography, computed tomography (CT), or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is done and shows an abnormality. Sometimes a biopsy Biopsy of the Liver Doctors can obtain a sample of liver tissue during exploratory surgery, but more often they obtain a sample by inserting a hollow needle through the person's skin and into the liver. This type... read more is needed to confirm the diagnosis.
Hepatocellular adenomas caused by oral contraceptive use may disappear when the woman stops taking the drug. If adenomas are large or located near the surface of the liver, surgery may be recommended because bleeding is a risk.
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American Liver Foundation: Hosts community education programs that give an overview of all aspects of liver disease and wellness. Also provides access to support groups, information on finding a physician, and opportunities to participate in clinical trials.