A research of 32 previous studies showed that a combined test can detect early liver cancer, this has appeared in the journal Gastroenterology. The research showed that combining ultrasound imaging and a blood test for high alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) levels will improve the detection of early liver cancer by 40%. AFP is a plasma protein that is produced by the liver cells in the foetus. Early detection can help in the survival of the patients with liver cancer. Risk factors for liver cancer are : hepatitis C infection, chronic heavy alcohol consumption and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.