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Liver cancer screening highly beneficial for people with cirrhosis
Date:5/5/2014

DALLAS May 5, 2014 Liver cancer survival rates could be improved if more people with cirrhosis are screened for tumors using inexpensive ultrasound scans and blood tests, according to a review by doctors at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

The meta-analysis of 47 studies involving more than 15,000 patients found that the three-year survival rate was much higher among patients who received liver cancer screening 51 percent for patients who were screened compared to 28 percent of unscreened patients. The review also found that cirrhosis patients who were screened for liver cancer were more likely to receive curative treatment rather than palliative, or end-of-life, care.

"Curative therapies, such as surgery or a liver transplant, are only available if patients are found to have liver cancer at an early stage. Unfortunately, right now, only a minority of patients' cancers are found at an early stage," said Dr. Amit Singal, Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine and Clinical Sciences, and Medical Director of the Liver Tumor Clinic in the Harold C. Simmons Cancer Center, the only National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center in North Texas and one of just 66 NCI-designated cancer centers in the nation.

Rick Curiel, 60, of Forney, Texas, said liver cancer screening saved his life. Mr. Curiel, one of Dr. Singal's patients, had cirrhosis and a 2012 screening found tumors on his liver. The cancer was surgically treated at the Simmons Cancer C
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Contact: Patrick McGee
patrick.mcgee@utsouthwestern.edu
214-648-3404
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert  

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