Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Cancer of the Liver Evaluation

The evaluation of liver cancer begins with a history and physical exam.

Physical findings in someone with liver cancer may include:

Tests that may be used to evaluate liver cancer include:

Additional tests that may be used to evaluate liver cancer include:

Cancer of the Liver Liver Biopsy

A biopsy of the liver is necessary to confirm the diagnosis of liver cancer. This involves taking a sample of liver tissue and looking at it under a microscope.

A liver biopsy may be performed with a long needle that goes through the skin and captures a small piece of the liver. A laparoscopic liver biopsy is performed from within the abdominal cavity, after the laparoscope is inserted through the skin and into the abdomen.


  • Laparoscopic biopsy
  • Video of laparoscopic surgery

Continue to Cancer of the Liver Treatment

Last Updated: Dec 17, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Cancer of the Liver References
  1. Bhosale P, Szklaruk J, Silverman PM. Current staging of hepatocellular carcinoma: imaging implications. Cancer Imaging. 2006 Jul 4;6:83-94. [16829469]
  2. Hung CH, Lee CM, Lu SN, Wang JH, Hu TH, Tung HD, Chen CH, Chen WJ, Changchien CS. Long-term effect of interferon alpha-2b plus ribavirin therapy on incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma in patients with hepatitis C virus-related cirrhosis. J Viral Hepat. 2006 Jun;13(6):409-14. [16842444]
  3. Lewis AM, Martin RC. The treatment of hepatic metastases in colorectal carcinoma. Am Surg. 2006 Jun;72(6):466-73. [16808196]
  4. Lise M, Pilati P, Da Pian P, Mocellin S, Nitti D, Corazzino S. Treatment options for liver metastases from colorectal cancer. J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2003 Dec;22(4 Suppl):149-56. [16767922]
  5. Matsui O. Detection and characterization of hepatocellular carcinoma by imaging. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2005 Oct;3(10 Suppl 2):S136-40. [16234062]
  6. Thomas MB, Abbruzzese JL. Opportunities for targeted therapies in hepatocellular carcinoma. J Clin Oncol. 2005 Nov 1;23(31):8093-108. [16258107]
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