Global burden of liver cancer could increase by more than 55% by 2040, analysis finds

Primary liver cancer was among the top three causes of cancer death in 46 countries in 2020 and the number of people diagnosed or dying from primary liver cancer per year could increase by more than 55%, new analysis finds by 2040. efforts to control the disease to be prioritized in a new study in the Journal of Hepatologyedited by Elsevier.

Liver cancer causes an enormous burden of disease worldwide every year. It is also largely preventable if control efforts are prioritized – major risk factors include hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus, alcohol consumption, excess weight and metabolic conditions , including type 2 diabetes.”


Isabelle Soerjomataram, MD, PhD, Lead Author, International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC/WHO), Cancer Surveillance Service, Lyon, France

“In light of the availability of new and improved estimates of cancer incidence and mortality worldwide, we wanted to provide the most up-to-date assessment of the burden of liver cancer and develop an essential tool for national planning of the fight against liver cancer,” explained lead author Harriet Rumgay, PhD student, International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC/WHO), Cancer Surveillance Service, Lyon, France. “In this analysis, we describe where liver cancer ranks among all cancer types for cancer diagnoses and deaths in countries around the world. We also present forecasts of the future burden of liver cancer through 2040.”

Investigators extracted data on primary liver cancer cases and deaths from the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s GLOBOCAN 2020 database, which produces estimates of cancer incidence and mortality for 36 types cancer in 185 countries around the world. The expected change in the number of cancer cases or deaths by 2040 has been estimated using population projections produced by the United Nations.

The results showed that in 2020, around 905,700 people were diagnosed with liver cancer and 830,200 died from liver cancer globally. According to these data, liver cancer is now among the top three causes of cancer death in 46 countries and is among the top five causes of cancer death in nearly 100 countries, including several high-income countries.

Liver cancer incidence and mortality rates were highest in East Asia, North Africa and Southeast Asia. Researchers predict that the annual number of new cases and deaths from liver cancer will increase by more than 55% over the next 20 years, assuming current rates do not change. The projected increase in cases will increase the need for resources to manage the care of patients with liver cancer.

Researchers were alarmed to find that the number of liver cancer cases and deaths will continue to rise year after year. They warn that to avoid this increase in cases and deaths, countries around the world must achieve an annual decrease of at least 3% in liver cancer incidence and death rates through preventive measures.

These estimates provide insight into the global burden of liver cancer and demonstrate the importance of improving and strengthening liver cancer prevention measures.

“We are at a turning point in the prevention of liver cancer, as the successes of efforts to control the hepatitis B virus and the hepatitis C virus will be reflected in liver cancer rates over the next few years. decades,” noted Dr. Soerjomataram. “These efforts need to be sustained and strengthened, especially given the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to some hepatitis B and C virus control efforts.”

The authors call on public health officials to prepare for the projected increase in demand for resources to manage the care of liver cancer patients throughout the cancer journey, including improving the access to palliative care due to the projected increasing number of patients with liver cancer, and to strengthen current liver cancer prevention measures such as vaccination, testing and treatment for hepatitis B virus ; population-wide testing and treatment of hepatitis C virus infection; reduction of alcohol consumption of the population; and curb the rising prevalence of diabetes and obesity.

“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 prevention. primary,” concluded Dr. Soerjomataram.

Source:

Journal reference:

Rumgay, H. et al. (2022) Global burden of primary liver cancer in 2020 and forecast to 2040. Journal of Hepatology. doi.org/10.1016/j.jhep.2022.08.021.

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