If some of the signs of liver cancer are present, various tests must be performed to diagnose liver cancer. The doctor may evaluate the patient's overall health and medical history when making a diagnosis of liver cancer. It is critical to inform the doctor if you have a history of alcohol misuse or hepatitis B or C infection. Various tests may be performed throughout the diagnosing process, including:
X-rays or magnetic waves are used in imaging studies to provide a glimpse of the inside organs. The liver and other organs are viewed via imaging tests such as an abdominal CT scan or an MRI.
Computed tomography (CT) scan
A CT scan uses X-rays gathered from various angles to build a three-dimensional image of the inside of the body. To improve the clarity of the image, a special dye is utilised. The dye might be injected directly into the veins of the patient or given as a beverage to ingest. CT scans with three phases are ideal.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
Unlike an X-ray, an MRI scan employs magnetic waves to produce a detailed image of the patient's inside organs. The MRI can also detect tumour size, and contrast material is injected into the patient's veins to provide a more detailed image.
Sometimes a biopsy is the only way to know for sure if cancer is present. A biopsy is a technique that involves removing a sample of tissue and examining it under a microscope to determine whether it is malignant. A liver biopsy involves taking a small sample of liver tissue and examining it under a microscope to detect if cancer is present. A needle biopsy is utilised in the majority of liver biopsy cases, in which a thin needle is inserted through the belly and into the liver to acquire a sample of tissue. A laparoscopic biopsy, which uses a small thin tube with a camera to provide the doctor with a view of the liver and internal organs, is sometimes performed.
Blood test for alpha-fetoprotein (AFP)
The levels of alpha-fetoprotein in the blood of foetuses are normally high during pregnancy, but they drop after birth. Adults with liver disease or cancer have a high level of AFP. If AFP levels are abnormally high in people who already have a liver tumour, it could indicate the presence of malignancy. However, this test cannot be completely depended on to detect early stages of liver cancer (insert secondary article URL here), because AFP levels might be normal or elevated in other infectious diseases.
Liver function tests
Liver function tests are used to examine the health of the liver by testing liver proteins, enzymes, and bilirubin levels in the blood during a diagnosis.