The diagnosis of HCC is usually made on the basis of the history associated with radiological findings of a mass lesion within the liver. The differential diagnosis includes:

♦ Secondary metastatic cancer

♦ Focal nodular hyperplasia

♦ Haemangioma

♦ Macronodular cirrhosis

Biopsy should be deferred in any patient in whom the potential for surgical resection exists because of the risk of tumour seeding out-with the liver. However, if coagulation is satisfactory, fine-needle aspiration is safe.

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