Liver Cancer Death Rate on the Rise While Other Cancer Rates Decline

The mortality rate of cancer has declined over the years, which is a great sign of progress. Scientists have dedicated their lives to researching cancer, whether it be the best treatments, causes, and potential cures. On the other hand, liver cancer mortality rates are on the rise. It has gone up 43 percent since 2000, and scientists are saying why that probably is.

Liver Cancer Statistics

Liver cancer is not a commonly discussed type of cancer, so it is important to know the facts about it. These statistics cover data found pertaining to growing death rates, people susceptible, and other related material.

  • This year (2018), about 42,220 people consisting of 30,610 men and 11,610 women in the United States will be diagnosed with primary liver cancer.
  • The number of adults diagnosed has tripled since 1980.
  • Doctors are diagnosing fewer young people.
  • Men are three times more likely to be diagnosed than women.
  • About 30,200 people consisting of 20,540 men and 9,660 women will die from liver cancer this year.
  • This disease is the 10th most common cancer and 5th most common cause of cancer death for men. It is the 8th most common cause of cancer death for women.
  • It depends on how severe the cancer is, but the general five-year survival rate is 18 percent.
  • About 43 percent of people diagnosed with liver cancer find it early on, which gives them a five-year survival rate of 31 percent.
  • If cancer spreads to surrounding tissues and organs, the five-year survival rate is 11 percent.
  • If cancer spreads to distant parts of the body, the five-year survival rate is only three percent.
  • This cancer is more common in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia when compared to the United States.

Why Liver Cancer Death Rates Are Rising

Specialists say that liver cancer is not becoming more deadly, but more people are developing it. This is why the mortality rate is rising. Dr. Farhad Islami, the scientific director of cancer surveillance research at the American Cancer Society, says that over 70 percent of this type of cancer is caused by obesity, smoking, excess alcohol consumption, and/or hepatitis B and C infections.

He states the hepatitis B and C infections are most commonly being found in baby boomers who received blood transfusions and/or organ transplants before 1992. This is because before 1992, doctors did not screen people for hepatitis before transplants. It takes years before someone who received the transfusion or transplant would develop liver cancer, which is why doctors have not been diagnosing them until now.

People at Risk

When it comes to gender, men are more likely to develop liver cancer than women, but the death rates are about the same: 43 percent for men and 40 percent for women. In the study that ranged between 2000 and 2016, Caucasians had the lowest death rate than those of other ethnicities. Specialists admit this may not mean race has anything to do with mortality rates, but other ethnicities generally have less access to good medical care, meaning doctors normally find their cancer at a more severe stage. The only ethnicity that has seen a decrease in death rates is Asians and Pacific Islanders. This is because liver cancer is more prevalent for them, so they have taken extra precautions and screenings to decrease their risk.

Conclusion

Though the issue with baby boomers and transfusions and transplants has increased the number of cancer diagnoses recently, others can take extra steps to prevent liver cancer. By living a healthy lifestyle, like exercising regularly, cutting down alcohol consumption, and quitting smoking, you can decrease your risk. If you have more questions, see a doctor.

Image Source: Pixabay

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Lacey Jolley
 

I love exploring, experiencing new places, and eating good food! I'm amazed every day at how well the Earth provides for us, and I want to return the favor. I hope to help others learn how we can make our world a better, cleaner place.

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