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  LIVER CANCER 

Minerva Gastroenterologica e Dietologica 2012 March;58(1):49-64

Copyright © 2012 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Prevention of hepatocellular carcinoma: progress and challenges

Shire A. M., Roberts L. R.

Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA


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Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a lethal cancer for both men and women and is caused by multiple risk factors. Most patients with HCC have an underlying liver disease caused by either chronic viral infection due to hepatitis B or hepatitis C virus or non-viral etiologic risk factors such as alcohol, fatty liver disease, dietary aflatoxin exposure, smoking and diabetes mellitus. While these risk factors are progressively and persistently damaging the liver, the majority of patients show very few symptoms of HCC. By the time symptoms appear the cancer is typically at a very advanced stage with limited options for treatment. In order to prevent death from HCC, it is therefore critically important to reduce the prevalence of the major risk factors, identify and treat those at high risk for development of HCC, and institute effective surveillance strategies for early diagnosis and treatment of HCC. This article reviews the recent progress and current challenges to the prevention of HCC.

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