Diagnosis of Liver Cancer

The diagnosis of liver cancer cannot be done through routine blood tests. There is a standard panel of liver tests that are administered to someone who is at a risk of developing liver cancer. Some of the common tests that are administered include:

  • Tests for tumor markers such as alpha fetoprotein.
  • Complete blood count to check for abnormal red blood count.
  • Glucose test to check for low blood sugar.
  • Blood test to check for high blood calcium.
  • Test for high serum cholesterol.
  • X rays of the abdomen to look for enlarged liver or blocked blood vessels.
  • Ultrasounds to look for enlarged liver and spleen.
  • CT scans and MRI to look for tumors and blockages in the blood vessels.
  • CT angiogram
  • Lipidol CT scan
  • PET scan

Frequently asked questions
  1. Shu-Chun Chuang, Carlo La Vecchia, Paolo Boffetta, Liver cancer: Descriptive epidemiology and risk factors other than HBV and HCV infection, Cancer Letters, Volume 286, Issue 1, 1 December 2009, Pages 9-14, ISSN 0304-3835, 10.1016/j.canlet.2008.10.040.
  2. W. Thomas London, Liver Cancer: Etiology and Prevention, In: Editor-in-Chief:   Joseph R. Bertino, Editor(s)-in-Chief, Encyclopedia of Cancer (Second Edition), Academic Press, New York, 2002, Pages 39-44, ISBN 9780122275555, 10.1016/B0-12-227555-1/00123-4.