HCC in the United States
- This year there will be over 41,260 (28,600 men and 12,660 women) new cases of liver cancer and approximately 30,520 (20,420 men and 10,100 women) deaths.
- Liver cancer incidence rates have more than tripled and death rates have more than doubled since 1980.
- HCC is the fastest rising cause of death in the U.S.
- Studies show that Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have the highest rates of liver cancer.
HCC in the World
- Over 815,000 people in the world are diagnosed with HCC each year and about 40% of those diagnosed were in the late stages of the disease.
- Approximately 700,000 die from the disease.
- HCC is the 6th most common cancer in the world.
- HCC is the 3rd leading cause of cancer deaths in the world.
- The overall incidence rate of HCC is approximately three times higher in males than females.
- HCC is the most prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa and Eastern/South-Eastern Asia.
- HCC accounts for approximately 90% of all liver cancers.
- About 80% of patients with HCC have preexisting cirrhosis
- Two-thirds of liver cancer deaths are caused by hepatitis.
- The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 296 million people are living with chronic hepatitis B, with 1.5 million new infections each year.
- The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 58 million people are living with chronic hepatitis C with 1.5 million new infections each year.
- Approximately 1.2 million people in the United States and 257 million people in the world have chronic hepatitis B.
- Approximately 2.4 million people in the United States and 71 million people in the world have chronic hepatitis C.
- The five-year relative survival rate depends on the stage of the disease at diagnosis:
- Localized (confined to the primary site) = 45%
- Regional (spread to regional lymph nodes) = 26%
- Distant (spread to other organs; metastasized) = 18%
- Cirrhosis (sometimes due to lifestyle choices)
- Hereditrary hemochromatosis
- Alpha1-antitrypsin deficiency
- Porphyria cutanea tarda
- Glycogen storage diseases
- Wilson’s Disease
- Exposure to cancer-causing substances
- Alfatoxins (made by a fungus that contaminates peanuts, wheat, soybeans, ground nuts, corn and rice)
- Vinyl chloride and thorium dioxide (Thorotrast)
- Anabolic steroids
- Infection with parasites (one that causes schistosomiasis, not found in the U.S. but can occur in Asia, Africa and South America)
- Tobacco use
- Symptoms may include anorexia, early satiety, loss of appetite, weight loss, nausea, vomiting, obstructive jaundice, fever, watery diarrhea, itching, yellowing of skin/eyes and/or swelling/fluid build-up in the abdomen.
- The patient may experience pain in the abdomen, near the right shoulder blade or in the bones (from metastases).
- An enlarged liver felt as a mass under the ribs on the right side, or an enlarged spleen felt as a mass under the ribs on the left side.
Sources: American Cancer Society, American Society of Clinical Oncology, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, and UpToDate © March 2022