Liver Cancer Awareness Month – October 2016

Hepatitis B or C contributes to 65% of liver cancer cases in the United States, and liver cancer morbidity and mortality are on the rise nationally and locally.

According to a 2016 NYC Health Department publication “Hepatocellular Carcinoma and Viral Hepatitis in New York City” from 2001–2012, 8,827 NYC residents were diagnosed with HCC; 38.4% had Hep C infection, 17.9% had Hep B infection, and 2.2% had both infections.

People living with hepatitis B should be screened for liver cancer every six months and people with Hep C and cirrhosis should be screened every six months. Recommended screening is through ultrasound.

Resources for Providers

CDC’s Viral Hepatitis and Liver Cancer factsheet provides updates on liver cancer in the U.S. and recommendations on key populations for viral hepatitis screening. CDC also describes liver cancer risk factors.

The Chronic Viral Hepatitis and Hepatocellular Carcinoma in New York City presentation highlights hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cases and disparities in NYC, as well as liver cancer survival rates.

The Think About the Link campaign aims to increase public awareness  about the link between Hep B, Hep C, human papillomavirus and cancer.

Liver Cancer Connect hosts a drug watch on therapies in development, a  directory of physicians who treat liver cancer, and provides links to clinical trials, news and events.

The Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) hosted a session on Viral Hepatitis and Liver Fibrosis which highlighted many new and interesting research findings, including prospects for a Hep C vaccine,  reduced but continued risk of liver complications after Hep C cure and the potentially protective effects of coffee and statins on the liver.

Patient Education

What is Liver Cancer? This detailed guide by the American Cancer Society explains the cause of liver cancer, risk factors, prevention, screening and treatment.

The National Cancer Institute provides patients and providers with updated resources for liver and bile duct cancer.

Research

CDC’s Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer found that liver cancer has continued to rise from 2008 to 2012, at 2.3%/year overall.

A September 2016 study by the NYC DOHMH  found that most New Yorkers with hepatocellular carcinoma have viral hepatitis and five-year HCC survival rates differ by  viral hepatitis status, 37.5% for those with Hep B, 20.0% for those with Hep C, 29.5% among co-infected individuals, and 16.1% for those with neither infection reported.

Mount Sinai Medical Center’s research on Hep B and liver cancer screening practices  highlighted a need for increased awareness of liver cancer screening guidelines among providers and hepatitis B and liver cancer in NYC’s African immigrant neighborhoods.

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