How Often is Screening Done?

Liver cancer screening can be done as part of your regular visit to a knowledgeable health care provider. The American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) recommends that liver cancer screening include ultrasound of the liver every 6 months.

Liver specialists may also order the alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) blood test every 6 months, in addition to an ultrasound. The AASLD, however, considers the AFP to be an inadequate screening test for liver cancer since it is not sensitive or specific enough to be used alone. More frequent screening may be recommended for people with cirrhosis or a family history of liver cancer. Because liver cancer can occur even in people without cirrhosis, such as those living with chronic hepatitis B infections, routine screening is very important.