Go to Hepatitis B Foundation home page

21. Can you develop liver cancer without any symptoms?

Many hepatitis B carriers don’t know that you can actually develop a very large liver cancer inside you without any symptoms. This happened to one of my patients who was a 35-year-old Asian American engineer. He knew he had chronic hepatitis B. He saw one of our public service announcements. So he went to his doctor and said, “I want to get an AFP level and ultrasound” and his doctor said, “no, your liver functions are normal. Why do you need to be screened?” His doctor never took an AFP blood test. So when he took the AFP blood test his was over 10,000. The usual AFP blood test is less than 10. So this is what he had inside him, a large 14 centimeter cancer and this was the cancer I took out from him.