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Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Biopsy for liver cancer

Biopsy for liver cancer

Once a liver cancer diagnosis has been made, your doctor will use a variety of techniques to obtain a tissue sample to determine the type and stage of the disease.

Several biopsy methods can be used to take samples of liver tissue, including fine needle aspiration (FNA) biopsy, core needle biopsy or laparoscopic biopsy. Laparoscopy is a minimally invasive method of obtaining a tissue sample without the risks of surgery.

What is a biopsy?

During a biopsy, a doctor removes a sample of tissue or fluid from the body. A pathologist inspects the cells under a microscope to see if they are cancerous. If the cells are found to be cancerous, a biopsy may help determine whether the cancer began at the site of the biopsy or if it started somewhere else in the body and spread to the biopsy site.

Some biopsies are performed endoscopically, others under image guidance, such as ultrasound, computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in the radiology suite. In some cases, biopsies are performed in the operating suite. This allows your doctor to collect tissue from deep inside the body. 

Some sites that are commonly biopsied include the breast, skin, bone marrow, GI tract, lung, liver, bladder, colon and lymph nodes. Our doctors determine the method of biopsy based on several factors, such as the size, shape, location, and characteristics of the abnormality.

Biopsy medical animation