Karen Hoyt is a blogger who has a story about hepatitis C, cirrhosis, end-stage liver disease, liver cancer, and liver transplantation. This excerpt first appeared on Karen’s I Help C blog.

With cirrhosis comes scans and look-sees at your liver every 6 months. Lately, I’ve been hearing all this talk about spots on the liver. Is it cancer? Are they nodules? What if it’s just a lesion? When doctors start talking about any shadows on a your liver, it’s a huge blow. Your mind gets numb. It’s like you can hear what’s going on around you, but you can’t. So you stare and ask a bunch of questions. Never mind that you won’t remember the answers. This blog answers some of your questions about spots on your liver.

What we want to know: Is it cancer or not cancer? I knew that day that it was malignant. My doctor and nurse said additional testing would take place, but I knew them well enough to see the look in their faces. The wondermous screening done today allows doctors to see quite a lot. If they tell you not to worry after the MRI, don’t worry.

You’ll probably start with an ultrasound. Then the CAT Scan, and then they’ll move toward an MRI. You may have some waiting time and here’s some info that just may comfort you!

Benign–Noncancerous or Malignant–Cancerous – The scans will tell your doctor if it’s a killer or not. Some spots show up as solid masses and others are fluid filled. Some have a blood supply, while others do not. Many of these spots are not even a cancer and they never will be. Others can be the beginning of cancer. It’s hard to pin down so lets talk about it.

Liver Adenoma is not very common. It’s really rare in men and in women, it can arise because of hormone replacement or oral contraceptives. Most doctors will stop the hormone and the tumor will shrink.

Hyperplasia is often confused with an adenoma. It is fairly common and doesn’t need treatment. Don’t be surprised if your doctor doesn’t get real uptight with this one.

Click here to read the rest of Karen’s blog, “Spots on Your Liver.”