1 Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW:
In prior decades, liver cancer was viewed as a neoplasm that almost exclusively arose among high-risk populations in low- and middle-income countries. Incidence rates in some high-risk populations, however, have been declining, while rates in low-risk populations have been increasing, reflecting changes in underlying etiology. In this review, we highlight the evolving epidemiology of liver cancer, focusing on recent research and advances.
Efforts to reduce or eliminate the risk associated with major risk factors such as hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV) and aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) have met with some success. As opposed to these favorable trends, the joint epidemics of obesity and diabetes have begun to affect liver cancer rates around the world.
While there has been progress in combating the effects of some risk factors, the increasing prevalence of others poses a major threat to attempts to tackle the rising incidence of liver cancer globally.