The cancer experts at Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center have extensive experience diagnosing patients with liver cancer and developing customized treatment plans for their specific needs. If you’re at high risk for liver cancer, have signs or symptoms, or have already been diagnosed, our caring team of specialists can help.
At this time, only people at high risk of developing liver cancer need regular screening tests.
A screening test can find cancer before you show symptoms. Being at increased risk for liver cancer doesn’t mean you will get the disease. But you should talk to your doctor about having regular screenings if you have risk factors, like chronic hepatitis B or C, or cirrhosis. You also should be familiar with your body to notice changes like jaundice (a yellow tint to the skin) or weight loss.
Your greatest chance for successful treatment of liver cancer is to find it early.
Tests and procedures used to diagnose liver cancer include:
In addition, your doctor will need to see where the liver tumor is located and if the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. To do this, your doctor may use one or more of the following tests or procedures:
The outlook, or prognosis, for patients diagnosed with liver cancer is often poor. Patients are generally diagnosed with liver cancer at a late stage, limiting available treatment options and their success. However, early diagnosis drastically improves the chances of survival for patients with liver cancer.
If you’ve been diagnosed with liver cancer, your doctor will need to determine the extent of the cancer. This process is called staging. It identifies the tumor’s size, location and if the cancer has spread (metastasized).
After your doctor has identified the stage of liver cancer, cancer treatment can begin.