Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) is the most common type of primary liver cancer and is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. It is the sixth most common form of cancer worldwide, accounting for more than 700,000 new cases each year.
HCC is a malignant tumor of the liver, which is made up of hepatocytes, the main cell type in the liver. It is more common in men than women and is more likely to occur as people age.
Cause: HCC is most commonly caused by chronic hepatitis B and C virus infections and cirrhosis and is also associated with alcohol consumption, aflatoxins, certain medications, and certain inherited metabolic diseases.
Symptoms of HCC may include abdominal pain, jaundice, weight loss, and fatigue.
Diagnosis of HCC is made by imaging studies and/or a biopsy.
Treatment of HCC depends on many factors, including the tumor size and stage, the patient's overall health, and whether cancer has spread beyond the liver. Treatment options include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and targeted therapies. Liver transplantation may be an option if the cancer is limited to the liver.
Healthcare providers need to be aware of the risk factors and symptoms of HCC, as early detection and treatment can improve outcomes. Patients should be encouraged to discuss any risk factors with their healthcare provider.
National Cancer Institute. Hepatocellular Carcinoma Treatment. https://www.cancer.gov/types/liver/hp/hepatocellular-treatment-pdq
American Cancer Society. Liver Cancer (Hepatocellular Carcinoma). https://www.cancer.org/cancer/liver-cancer/about/what-is-liver-cancer.html
World Health Organization. Hepatocellular Carcinoma. https://www.who.int/cancer/prevention/diagnosis-screening/hepatocellular-carcinoma/en/