About 55% more people worldwide might get diagnosed with—and succumb to—liver cancer by 2040, researchers warned.
In an Oct. 5 article in the Journal of Hepatology, Harriet Rumgay and company said that in 2020, there were about 905,700 liver cancer patients, with 830,200 of them dying. But after 20 years, or in 2040, they warned that the number of liver cancer patients and deaths could climb to 1.4 million and 1.3 million, respectively.
Rugmay's team analyzed Global Cancer Observatory or GLOBOCAN data on primary liver cancer cases in 185 countries—and made age-standardized incidence and mortality rates projections accordingly.
The World Health Organization in 2020 listed liver cancer as among the most common causes of cancer death. Major risk factors for the disease include hepatitis B and C viruses, excessive alcohol consumption, obesity, and metabolic diseases including type 2 diabetes.
GLOBOCAN data in 2020 showed that East Asia, Northern Africa, and Southeast Asia have the highest liver cancer incidents and mortality rates worldwide.
"In light of the availability of new and improved global cancer incidence and mortality estimates, we wanted to... develop an essential tool for national liver cancer control planning," researchers said.
They urged governments to try to lessen liver cancer incidents and mortality rates through immunization, testing, and treatment for hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C viruses.
Healthcare access must also be improved to cater to possible liver cancer patients, they said.
"These measures need to be maintained and strengthened, particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic's impact," researchers said. (ANI)
(Editor's note: Minor changes were made in this republished article.)