Screening for Liver Cancer
Cancer screening is when an individual with no risk factors and with no symptoms undergo a test to detect a cancer
Cancer surveillance is when an individual with no symptoms but who has risk factors for developing a cancer undergo the test
Generally, liver cancer screening is not needed for a healthy individual without risk factors.
However you should have yourself screened if you have a parent, sibling or spouse who is known to have Hepatitis B or C, or primary liver cancer
- Individuals with Hepatitis B or C
- Individuals with liver cirrhosis
So as to detect the cancer early where treatment can have better results.
- Blood test for the liver cancer marker AFP
- Ultrasound scan of the liver
This is done every 6 to 12 months. This interval may be shorter depending on the severity of the liver cirrhosis. In addition, if you have Hepatitis B or C, your liver specialist will perform a regular check on the status and activity level of the virus
Patients who have been treated for their liver cancer must return for regular follow up even if the cancer is treated completely as there is always the risk of the cancer recurring.
If the recurrence is detected early, there is still the possibility of complete treatment of the cancer
- Control of the activity of the virus with medication may reduce the risk of cancer formation.
- Patients who have liver disease due to excessive alcohol consumption should stop drinking.
- Individuals with fatty liver should exercise regularly and make dietary adjustments to control fatty liver as this reduce the damage to the liver caused by the fat and hence reduce the occurrence of cancer formation