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Radiology Testing for Liver Cancer

Radiology testing is important to determine the extent and stage of liver cancer, prior to deciding on the best treatment option.

CT Scans

Your doctors at the UPMC Liver Cancer Center commonly request a repeat CT scan, even though you may have had one done recently.

CT scans at the UPMC Liver Cancer Center are often more comprehensive, utilizing thinner views and heightened contrast to get the best possible image of the liver.

Sometimes an outside CT scan will show a single tumor in the liver, whereas the UPMC triphasic CT scan may show additional tumors that change the treatment strategy and surgical plan.

PET Scans

A PET scan is a functional nuclear medicine test we sometimes use to help confirm the presence of a tumor or identify additional tumors.

It consists of injecting radio-labeled glucose in an arm vein.

Rapidly dividing cancer cells will absorb the glucose and show up as a “hot-spot.” The radiologist correlates a “hot-spot” on a PET scan with a tumor nodule on a CT scan.

Other Radiology Tests

In addition to CT and PET scans, other types of radiology tests for diagnosing liver cancer or liver disease include MRI scans and ultrasounds.

Where to Go for Radiology Testing

UPMC Presbyterian, radiology department

  • CT scans
  • MRI scans
  • PET scans
  • Ultrasounds

Hillman Cancer Center, on the campus of UPMC Shadyside

  • PET scans