These guidelines are intended to encourage more appropriate use of tumor
marker tests by primary care physicians, hospital physicians and surgeons,
specialist oncologists, and other health professionals. Hepatocellular carcinoma
(HCC) is the fifth most common cancer worldwide and the third most common cause
of cancer-related death, with 500,000 new cases diagnosed yearly. The rationale
behind screening for HCC by regular liver ultrasound and tumor marker
measurement in high-risk but asymptomatic groups is the early identification of
tumors when they are still curable.