Modern therapeutic strategies can improve survival of patients with pancreatic or liver malignancies. A prerequisite is thorough radiologic assessment of these patients. A variety of radiologic techniques are available, such as ultrasound, contrast-enhanced CT, CTAP, contrast-enhanced MRI, and endoscopic ultrasound. In this review the advantages and weaknesses of the different techniques are presented in the staging of patients with HCC, cholangiocarcinoma, suspected liver metastases, and pancreatic carcinoma. In an era of economic restraints, funds are not flowing freely anymore for radiologic studies. We have to consider not doing so many different examinations for each patient. We have to decide in the future which diagnostic test we want to perform for detection and staging of a particular disease. For liver and pancreatic malignancies it is likely to be MRI that will take this role.