Liver cancer: why cases could increase by 55% by 2040

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Liver cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide and its impact on global health could grow, indicates a study published in The Journal of Hepatology on October 5.

Liver cancer is among the top three causes of cancer death in 46 countries.

To arrive at this observation, the researchers studied the information present in the GLOBOCAN 2020 of the International Agency for Research on Cancer. This database estimates the incidence and mortality of 36 types of cancer in 185 countries around the world.

In 2020, 905,700 people were diagnosed with liver cancer and 830,200 people died from it worldwide.

The disease was among the top three causes of cancer death in 46 countries. Most of these countries were in East Asia, North and West Africa, and Central America. However, liver cancer is also one of the top five causes of cancer death in some Western countries.

And the situation is not going to get better. In fact, according to population projections prepared by the United Nations, the annual number of new cases and deaths from liver cancer will increase by more than 55% in the next 20 years.

"The number of people diagnosed with or dying from liver cancer each year could increase by nearly 500,000 cases or deaths by 2040 unless we achieve a substantial decrease in liver cancer rates through primary prevention," explains Isabelle Soerjomataram. , lead author of the study in a press release.

Known risk factors

To avoid this increase, his team of researchers warns that countries around the world must achieve an annual decrease of at least 3% in the incidence of liver cancer through preventive measures.

"Liver cancer represents a huge burden of disease worldwide every year," explains Isabelle Soerjomataram. "It is also largely preventable if control efforts are prioritized: the main risk factors are hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus, alcohol consumption, excess body weight and metabolic conditions. including type 2 diabetes.

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