Hemochromatosis is an inherited disorder. It results from an abnormal gene that causes the body to absorb too much iron from food. People with the disorder have high levels of serum ferritin, a measure of body iron stores. The excess iron gradually builds up in many organs, including the liver. As the disease progresses, damage to the liver can lead to permanent scarring (fibrosis and cirrhosis) and liver cancer. Treatment involves avoiding alcohol (because it increases iron absorption and may cause liver damage) and removing excess iron by drawing off pints of blood. Liver cancer occurs mostly in patients who already have advanced liver disease (bridging fibrosis or cirrhosis). Some doctors regularly monitor these patients with ultrasound tests to detect liver cancer. In the past, the diagnosis of advanced fibrosis or cirrhosis has required a liver biopsy. Doctors and patients would appreciate less invasive tests to help identify the patients with advanced liver disease who might need regular monitoring for liver cancer.