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General Screening Recommendations

The American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) has issued the following screening recommendations for liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma or HCC):

  • Patients at high risk for developing liver cancer should enter into screening programs
  • Patients on the liver transplant waiting list should be screened for liver cancer for two reasons:
    • In the United States, people who develop liver cancer are given increased priority for liver transplants
    • Failure to screen could result in patients developing liver cancer that progresses beyond the acceptable criteria for a liver transplant
  • Screening for liver cancer should be performed using ultrasound imaging
  • The alfa-fetoprotein (AFP) blood test is not sensitive or specific enough to be used alone for screening or diagnosis of liver cancer
  • Patients should be screened at 6 month intervals if they have chronic hepatitis B or C infections