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Hepatitis is a disease that causes liver inflammation. Symptoms can include abdominal pain, yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice), and flu-like symptoms. It is very important that hepatitis be diagnosed and treated to prevent permanent liver damage and liver cancer.
Hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver infection and is spread from contaminated food or water, or an infected person. Hepatitis A is preventable by vaccine.
Hepatitis B is a liver infection and is spread by sharing infected bodily fluids. This condition often does not show symptoms but chronic cases can cause serious damage.
The liver is an incredibly important organ, so liver failure is a very serious condition with widespread consequences. Acute liver failure occurs over days to weeks, most commonly due to acetaminophen (Tylenol/paracetamol) overdose or viruses such as hepatitis B.
Liver cancer can be caused by a virus or toxins or due to metastatic cancer that has spread from elsewhere in the body. Symptoms usually do not present until the cancer has progressed, but include pain near the liver, a palpable mass, jaundice, early satiety, and unexplained weight loss.