10 doctors weighed in:
Is there a risk that the liver biopsy might cause the cancer to spread?
10 doctors weighed in

Dr. Theodore Cole
Family Medicine
2 doctors agree
In brief: Yes
Any type of biopsy has the potential to increase the spread of cancer.
The risk appears to be small, but is a consideration to take into account.

In brief: Yes
Any type of biopsy has the potential to increase the spread of cancer.
The risk appears to be small, but is a consideration to take into account.
Dr. Theodore Cole
Dr. Theodore Cole
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1 comment
Dr. Matthew Fero
If there is cancer in your liver then it has already spread, and the risk of a biopsy making it spread further is negligible. (I'm assuming we're not talking about primary liver cancer). The main risk of a liver biopsy is bleeding, and the second biggest risk is infection.
Dr. Jeffrey Crespin
Internal Medicine - Gastroenterology
2 doctors agree
In brief: Yes
Althought the risk is low it certain has been reported where cancers has spread in the biopsy tract.
Not all liver cancers require biopsy. If the alpha-fetoprotein is greater than 250 it is likely liver cancer. Also many liver cancers have a classic pattern on MRI or triple phase ct where it shows up on the arterial phase.

In brief: Yes
Althought the risk is low it certain has been reported where cancers has spread in the biopsy tract.
Not all liver cancers require biopsy. If the alpha-fetoprotein is greater than 250 it is likely liver cancer. Also many liver cancers have a classic pattern on MRI or triple phase ct where it shows up on the arterial phase.
Dr. Jeffrey Crespin
Dr. Jeffrey Crespin
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Dr. Eric Chevlen
Internal Medicine - Oncology
In brief: No.
There is no evidence that biopsy increases the risk of other metastases of cancer.
On the contrary, knowing exactly what kind of cancer (if any) the patient has is essential for its proper management.

In brief: No.
There is no evidence that biopsy increases the risk of other metastases of cancer.
On the contrary, knowing exactly what kind of cancer (if any) the patient has is essential for its proper management.
Dr. Eric Chevlen
Dr. Eric Chevlen
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Dr. Andrew Carroll
Family Medicine
In brief: No
Though this has been demonstrated with head and neck cancers, i don't believe the literature has demonstrated spread of liver cancer by biopsy.

In brief: No
Though this has been demonstrated with head and neck cancers, i don't believe the literature has demonstrated spread of liver cancer by biopsy.
Dr. Andrew Carroll
Dr. Andrew Carroll
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Dr. Lance Stein
Internal Medicine - Hepatology
In brief: Yes
It is reported but luckily a rare event.
Many times a liver biopsy is not necessary to diagnose liver cancer and imaging of the liver is enough to make the diagnosis.

In brief: Yes
It is reported but luckily a rare event.
Many times a liver biopsy is not necessary to diagnose liver cancer and imaging of the liver is enough to make the diagnosis.
Dr. Lance Stein
Dr. Lance Stein
Thank
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