HCC is one of the most common cancers worldwide and is commonly detected at the advanced stages of the disease. Over 80% of HCC is attributable to the combined effects of CHB and HCV (AHA guidelines, 2012). Hence, to improve patient’s prognosis it is crucial HCC screening and surveillance is commenced and implemented in primary care.
The recommended guidelines include an abdominal ultrasound and alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) at 6 monthly intervals.
The following patients are recognised as high-risk populations:
- Asian ethnicity: males > 40 years of age & females >50 years of age
- African ethnicity: males and females > 20 years of age
- Family history of HCC
- Patients with Cirrhosis