Screening tests are used to detect liver cancer at the earliest possible stage. There are no good screening tools for liver cancer. Current screening methods include a blood test, Computed Axial Tomography (CT) scan / Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) or angiography (the injection of a dye into the blood vessels). There are currently no reliable blood test to diagnose liver cancer. A test for alpha fetal protein (AFP) may be slightly elevated in 2/3 of patients with liver cancer, but may also be slightly elevated in patients with chronic liver disease. Very high levels of serum AFP is a good indication of liver cancer, but is only seen in a few patients. At risk individuals can also be screened using imaging techniques such as Computed Axial Tomography (CT) scan / Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) or angiography (the injection of a dye into the blood vessels).

At Johns Hopkins, the Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology are actively involved in day to day screening of patients at high risk for developing liver cancer.