Diagnosing Liver Cancer

This information is useful for adults and older adults
A doctor holds the hand of a patient who possibly has liver cancer.

Liver cancer can be a complicated diagnosis. The disease presents few symptoms early on, so it’s usually only detected in advanced stages or found incidentally, when the patient undergoes scans for other diseases.

A pathological study “makes a diagnosis and guides the treatment of the liver cancer patient,” says Yale Medicine pathologist Xuchen Zhang, MD. “If there is a mass in the liver and it has been found to be cancerous, we need to know if it originated in the liver or elsewhere."

The Yale Medicine Department of Pathology has specialized expertise in the area of liver cancer.