5 things to know about rising liver cancer mortality rates

Liver cancer incidence and mortality has doubled since the early 1990s in several high-income countries and is the only major cancer where mortality is increasing in those nations, according to findings presented at the Global Hepatitis Summit 2018 in Toronto, Canada, and detailed in Medscape.

Here are five things to know:

1. In 2015, the age-standardized incidence rate per 100,000 population was:

  • 9.6 per 100,000 in the United Kingdom
  • 9.2 per 100,000 in the U.S.
  • 7.4 per 100,000 in Australia
  • 6.0 per 100,0000 in Canada.

2. Liver cancer deaths have risen for both men and women. In 2014, the age-standardized mortality rate was 8.7 per 100,000 population in the United Kingdom. In 2015, the age-standardized mortality rate was 6.6 per 100,000 in both the U.S. and Australia and 7.5 per 100,000 population in Canada.

3. According to Morris Sherman, MD, emeritus professor of medicine at the University Health Network and the University of Toronto, Canada, the surge in liver cancer incidence and the increase in mortality are due to hepatitis B and hepatitis C infection as well as the obesity epidemic. He claimed that the obesity epidemic is leading to an epidemic of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, which can progress to liver cancer.

4. In June 2018, the Canadian Association for the Study of the Liver recommended that people born between 1945 and 1975 be tested for hepatitis C.

5. In 2012, an estimated 745,000 people died of liver cancer worldwide.

More articles on gastroenterology:

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