Hepatocellular Carcinoma Epidemiology

Hepatocellular carcinoma is one of the most commonly occurring tumors in the world. This form of cancer is the fifth most common malignancy in men and the eighth most common in women.

The epidemiology of this cancer occurs as two main patterns – the one seen in North America and Western Europe and the one seen in non-Western regions such as sub-Saharan Africa, the Amazon basin and central and Southeast Asia.

This cancer usually affects people between the ages of 30 and 50 and causes around 660,000 deaths across the globe every year. About half of these deaths occur in China.

Hepatocellular carcinoma in Non-Western Countries

Hepatocellular cancer is the most common form of cancer in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia and usually affects people between the teenage years and age 40. The increased prevalence in these regions is due to the relatively high transmission of hepatitis C and hepatitis B compared with Western countries.

Infection with these viruses at birth predisposes to an earlier onset of the cancer than when individuals become infected at an older age. It can take years or even decades for hepatitis to progress to hepatocellular cancer, but once the cancer develops, the average survival time is only 5.6 months in China and 3 months in sub-Saharan Africa. In Japan, chronic hepatitis C is associated with 90% of hepatocellular carcinoma cases. Food infected with Aspergillus flavus is also another risk factor for the condition.

Hepatocellular carcinoma in North American and Western European countries

In these regions, hepatocellular carcinoma usually occurs as secondary to liver disease. The main risk factors for hepatocellular cancer in these countries are hepatitis B, hepatitis C, cirrhosis and hemachromatosis.

Further Reading

Last Updated: Feb 26, 2019

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Written by

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Dr. Ananya Mandal is a doctor by profession, lecturer by vocation and a medical writer by passion. She specialized in Clinical Pharmacology after her bachelor's (MBBS). For her, health communication is not just writing complicated reviews for professionals but making medical knowledge understandable and available to the general public as well.


Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Mandal, Ananya. (2019, February 26). Hepatocellular Carcinoma Epidemiology. News-Medical. Retrieved on July 21, 2024 from https://www.news-medical.net/health/Hepatocellular-Carcinoma-Epidemiology.aspx.

  • MLA

    Mandal, Ananya. "Hepatocellular Carcinoma Epidemiology". News-Medical. 21 July 2024. <https://www.news-medical.net/health/Hepatocellular-Carcinoma-Epidemiology.aspx>.

  • Chicago

    Mandal, Ananya. "Hepatocellular Carcinoma Epidemiology". News-Medical. https://www.news-medical.net/health/Hepatocellular-Carcinoma-Epidemiology.aspx. (accessed July 21, 2024).

  • Harvard

    Mandal, Ananya. 2019. Hepatocellular Carcinoma Epidemiology. News-Medical, viewed 21 July 2024, https://www.news-medical.net/health/Hepatocellular-Carcinoma-Epidemiology.aspx.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
Post a new comment

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.

You might also like...
Study explores the intricate gut-brain-liver connection and its impact on health