, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 60-66
Date: 01 Feb 2008

Early detection of liver cancer: Diagnosis and management

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Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the fifth most common cause of cancer deaths worldwide, and the incidence is rising. Despite a wide array of treatment options, fewer than half of candidates for potentially curative treatments receive them. The diagnosis and management of HCC require a multidisciplinary approach involving various clinical specialties. The foundation of diagnosis is high-quality imaging, with MRI being the test of choice. Some patients also require guided biopsy when MRI is equivocal. Treatment options depend upon the tumor stage and the degree of underlying synthetic dysfunction. Potentially curative treatments include surgical resection and transplantation. Other treatments that prolong survival include percutaneous ablation and transarterial chemoembolization. A new oral agent, sorafenib, was recently shown to prolong survival in patients with advanced HCC. By increasing surveillance and treatment of HCC, outcomes for these patients may be improved.