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Hepatocellular carcinoma surveillance: current practice and future directions


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is among the leading causes of cancer incidence and mortality worldwide. Surveillance of individuals with cirrhosis or other conditions that confer a high risk of HCC development is essential for early detection and improved overall survival. Biannual ultrasonography with or without alpha-fetoprotein is widely recommended as the standard method for HCC surveillance, but it has limited sensitivity in early disease and may be inadequate in certain individuals. This review article will provide a comprehensive overview of the current landscape of HCC surveillance, including the rationale and indications for HCC surveillance, standard methods for HCC surveillance, and their strengths/limitations. Alternative surveillance methods such as the role of cross-sectional imaging, emerging circulating biomarkers, as well as the problem of under-utilization of HCC surveillance and surveillance-related harms will also be discussed in this review.

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