Early Diagnosis Of Liver Cancer – Best Ways

If some symptoms of liver cancer are present, there are different kinds of tests that have to be done to diagnose liver cancer. During the diagnosis of liver cancer, the doctor may take into consideration the person’s overall health and medical history. It is important to tell the doctor if there is a previous history of alcohol abuse or hepatitis B or hepatitis C infection. During the diagnosis, there are different tests that might be conducted like:

Picture of a doctor assembling a liver out of puzzle pieces

Imaging tests

Imaging tests use X-rays or magnetic waves to get a view of the internal organs. Imaging tests such as an abdominal CT scan or MRI is used to get a view of the liver and other organs.

Computed tomography (CT) scan

A CT scan creates a three-dimensional picture of inside the body using X-rays that are taken from different angles. A special kind of dye is also used to make the image clearer. The dye can be injected into the patient’s veins or can be given as a liquid to swallow. Triple phase CT scans are preferred.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

The MRI scan unlike the X-ray uses magnetic waves to give a detailed image of the internal parts of the patient’s body. The MRI is also known to detect the tumor size and a dye called a contrast medium is injected into the patient’s veins to give a more detailed view.

Liver Biopsy

A biopsy is sometimes the only way to be certain if cancer is present. A biopsy is a procedure where a sample tissue is removed and is looked at under a microscope to see if it is cancerous. In a liver biopsy, a small piece of the liver tissue is taken and examined under a microscope to see if cancer is present. In most cases of a liver biopsy, the technique of a needle biopsy is used where a thin needle is passed through the abdomen and into the liver to obtain a sample of the tissue. Sometimes a laparoscopic biopsy may also be performed where a small thin tube with a camera is used and this allows the doctor to have a view of the liver and internal organs

Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) Blood test

The levels of alpha-fetoprotein is usually seen to be high in the blood of fetuses but it comes down after birth. The level of AFP is high in adults who have liver disease or cancer. If the levels of AFP are seen to be very high in adults who already have a liver tumor, it can be a sign that cancer is present. However, this test cannot be fully relied on to diagnose the early stages of liver cancer {insert secondary article hyperlink here}, as the levels of AFP maybe normal and it may be raised in other infective conditions also.

Liver function tests

Liver function tests are done during a diagnosis to check the health of the liver by measuring the liver proteins, enzymes and bilirubin in the blood.

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