October is Liver Cancer Awareness Month!!

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The liver is one of the largest organs in the body. It filters harmful substances from the blood, produces bile that helps in the digestion of fats, and stores sugar that the body uses for energy.

There are two types of primary liver cancer in adults – hepatocellular carcinoma and cholangiocarcinoma. Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common type of adult primary liver cancer. It is relatively rare in the United States, although its incidence is rising, principally in relation to the spread of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.

According to these available data the age adjusted incidence rate of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in India for men ranges from 0.7 to 7.5 and for women 0.2 to 2.2 per 100,000 population per year. The male:female ratio for HCC in India is 4:1. The age of presentation varies from 40 to 70 years. According to a study conducted by verbal autopsy in 1.1 million homes representing the whole country, the age standardized mortality rate for HCC in India for men is 6.8/100,000 and for women is 5.1/100,000.

Having hepatitis B, hepatitis C, or cirrhosis are significant risk factors for adult primary liver cancer. Liver cancer is more common in men than women, and among Asian/Pacific Islander and American Indian/Alaska Native populations.

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