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Liver Cancer

Screening and Tests for Liver Cancer

Individuals with certain conditions and risk factors should undergo regular screening for liver cancer. These include: hepatitis B; being an Asian male over 50, an Asian female over 40 or an African older than 20 with liver cirrhosis or a family history of liver cancer; liver cirrhosis from alcohol use; hepatitis C; an inherited form of hemochromatosis; and primary sclerosing cholangitis. This screening usually involves blood tests and an ultrasound once or twice a year.

Diagnosing liver cancer is often done through a combination of blood tests and imaging tests. The blood tests look for markers such as ammonia, bilirubin or liver enzymes, among others, that may indicate liver cancer. Imaging tests include ultrasounds, CT scans and MRIs, all of which allow doctors to get an image of the body’s internal structures and look for tumors. In addition, a liver biopsy, in which a needle is inserted into the liver and a small tissue sample is removed and analyzed under a microscope, may be performed to determine the extent of liver damage and determine the best course of treatment.

Locations for Liver Cancer