A recent study examined the incidence of liver cancer in many countries around the world and found that although it is among the leading causes of cancer deaths, in most cases, it can be prevented.
The Global Burden of Disease Liver Cancer Collaboration—an international group of researchers—reported results of the Global Burden of Disease 2015 study on primary liver cancer incidence and mortality for 195 countries or territories from 1990 to 2015.
The study, published in JAMA Oncology on October 5, 2017, included global, regional, and national estimates on the burden of the disease attributable to hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), alcohol use, and other causes.
Researchers found that there were 854,000 liver cancer diagnoses and 810,000 deaths globally in 2015 attributed to the disease. HBV accounted for 265,000 deaths from liver cancer (33%), alcohol for 245,000 (30%), HCV for 167,000 (21%), and other causes for 133,000 (16%) deaths.
Cases of liver cancer increased by 75% between 1990 and 2015, of which 47% are attributed to an aging population and 35% to population growth.
Most cases of liver cancer can be prevented through vaccination, antiviral treatment, safe blood transfusions and injection practices, as well as interventions to reduce excessive alcohol consumption, noted the study authors.