What is Hepatocellular carcinoma?
Malignant tumor of the liver that develops in the setting of chronic liver disease or cirrhosis. Hepatocellular carcinoma is derived from hepatocytes that are transformed into adenocarcinoma. Up to 60% of patients with HCC have elevated serum alpha fetoprotein levels. Tumor has a poor long-term prognosis unless treated surgically by resection or liver transplantation. Noninvasive imaging (e.g., MRI or CT scan) may distinguish hepatomas from other benign tumors such as hemangiomas.