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Home Industry News Number of liver cancer cases ‘trebles’

Number of liver cancer cases ‘trebles’

20th August 2009

The number of liver cancer cases in the UK has tripled during the last 30 years, new research shows.

Figures released by Cancer Research UK reveal that in 1975 there were 865 cases of primary liver cancer, compared to 3,108 cases diagnosed in 2006.

Secondary or metastatic liver cancer – that which has spread to the liver from a primary tumour elsewhere in the body – is a relatively common disease, the paper indicates.

However, primary liver cancer – when cancer originates in the liver – has been relatively rare in the UK until recently, health experts claim.

The rise in cases has been attributed to three main factors: the increase in alcohol consumption, obesity and hepatitis C. Each of these factors can lead to cirrhosis which in turn may develop into primary liver cancer.

Matt Seymour, Cancer Research UK’s professor of gastrointestinal cancer medicine at the University of Leeds said: “We are seeing more patients with cirrhosis and […] more patients with primary liver cancer.”

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