If you have liver cancer, the Child-Pugh classification system assesses how well your liver is working.

If you have liver cancer, doctors will assess how well your liver is working using the Child-Pugh classification system. It gives a score from A to C:

  • A means the liver is working well.
  • C means it is very damaged and is not working well.

Child-Pugh looks at:

  • the level of bilirubin (a waste product of old red blood cells) in the blood
  • the level of albumin (blood protein) in the blood
  • how quickly your blood clots (prothrombin time)
  • whether there is any build-up of fluid in the tummy (ascites)
  • whether liver damage is affecting how the brain is working (encephalopathy).

The results help doctors decide which treatments are best for your situation. Having certain treatments will depend on how well the liver is able to cope. They will also look at the stage of the cancer when planning your treatment.

How we can help

Macmillan Cancer Support Line
The Macmillan Support Line offers confidential support to people living with cancer and their loved ones. If you need to talk, we'll listen.
0808 808 00 00
Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm
Email us
Get in touch via this form
Chat online
Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm
Online Community
An anonymous network of people affected by cancer which is free to join. Share experiences, ask questions and talk to people who understand.
Help in your area
What's going on near you? Find out about support groups, where to get information and how to get involved with Macmillan where you live.