Screening is a method of detecting cancer before any symptoms or indicators appear. Scientists continue to develop tests that can help screen people for specific cancers. Cancer screening’s overall goals are to:
- Reduce the number of individuals who die from cancer, or early diagnosis of cancer.
- Reduce the amount of persons who get sick from the disease.
- Information about liver cancer screening
If you have cirrhosis or other risk factors, it’s critical to talk to your doctor about the diagnosis for liver cancer on a frequent basis. Finding cancer early on, before symptoms appear, increases the chances of a successful therapy. Hepatologists are the clinicians that have the greatest experience with primary liver cancer screening. The phrase “surveillance” may sometimes also describe this, but it refers to the same thing as screening.
Screening options for liver cancer include testing the blood for a substance called alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), which may be produced by cancer cells, or having imaging tests like an ultrasound, computed tomography (CT or CAT) scan, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Talk with a hepatologist about which screening tests they recommend and how often to have them based on your medical history. Different guidelines apply to different causes of liver disease.