- 1Slone Epidemiology Center, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts.
- 2Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland.
- 3Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, University of California at San Diego, San Diego, California.
- 4Division of Epidemiology, Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, University of California at San Diego, San Diego, California.
Background: Liver cancer incidence has increased for several decades in the United States. Recently, reports have suggested that rates of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the dominant form of liver cancer, had declined in certain groups. However, to the authors' knowledge, the most recent histology-specific liver cancer rates have not been reported to date.
Methods: The authors examined the incidence of HCC and intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC) from 1992 through 2016 using data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results registries. Age-standardized incidence rates were calculated by histology, sex, race and/or ethnicity, and age. Trends were analyzed using the National Cancer Institute's Joinpoint Regression Program to estimate the annual percent change.
Results: Between 2011 and 2016, HCC rates significantly declined (annual percent change, -1.9%), with more prominent declines noted among males, Asian/Pacific Islanders, and individuals aged <50 years. Conversely, ICC rates increased from 2002 through 2016.
Conclusions: Declining HCC rates may persist due to improved treatment of the hepatitis C virus and/or competing causes of mortality among individuals with fatty liver disease.