Your doctor will first examine you and ask about your physical symptoms. If there is a possibility of liver cancer you may then need:
- blood tests – including one to measure liver function
- imaging tests – including ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computerised tomography (CT) scans, or a PET-CT scan
- a liver biopsy – to remove a sample of liver tissue for testing. This is done with a thin needle under local anaesthetic
- if you have secondary liver cancer, you may have other tests to find out where the primary cancer is.
If you have liver cancer, you are likely to be referred to a gastroenterologist, surgeon or oncologist (cancer specialist). You may need further tests to find out what stage your cancer is at. These could include bone scans and examinations of the bowel, stomach and breasts.
Your doctor may do a laparoscopy, using a small tube with a camera at the end, to look at your liver and surrounding organs while you are under anaesthetic.
Last reviewed: June 2017