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Liver Cancer in Top Five Causes of Cancer Deaths in 90 Countries

The number of people diagnosed with liver cancer is predicted to rise substantially by 2040

THURSDAY, Oct. 13, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Liver cancer is a major cause of death in many countries, according to a study published online Oct. 5 in the Journal of Hepatology.

Harriet Rumgay, from the International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, France, and colleagues used data from the GLOBOCAN 2020 database (185 countries) to calculate age-standardized incidence and mortality rates (ASRs) for primary liver cancer cases and deaths.

The researchers found that in 2020, an estimated 905,700 people were diagnosed with, and 830,200 people died from, liver cancer globally. For new cases and deaths, global ASRs for liver cancer were 9.5 and 8.7, respectively, per 100,000 people and were highest in Eastern Asia (17.8 new cases; 16.1 deaths), Northern Africa (15.2 new cases; 14.5 deaths), and South-Eastern Asia (13.7 new cases; 13.2 deaths). In 46 countries, liver cancer was among the top three causes of cancer death, and in 90 countries, it was among the top five causes of cancer death. In all world regions, ASRs of both incidence and mortality were higher among men than women (male:female ASR ratio ranged from 1.2 to 3.6). Between 2020 and 2040, the number of new cases of liver cancer per year is predicted to increase by 55.0 percent, with a possible 1.4 million people diagnosed in 2040 and 1.3 million people dying from liver cancer in 2040 (56.4 percent more than in 2020).

“Primary liver cancer due to some causes is preventable if control efforts are prioritized and the predicted rise in cases may increase the need for resources to manage care of patients with liver cancer,” the authors write.

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