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Global burden of disease study focuses on liver cancer

A new article published by JAMA Oncology reports the results of the Global Burden of Disease 2015 study on primary liver cancer incidence, death and years of healthy life lost in 195 countries or territories from 1990 to 2015.

Liver cancer is among the leading causes of cancer death worldwide.

The article by the Global Burden of Disease Liver Cancer Collaboration and corresponding author Christina Fitzmaurice, M.D., M.P.H., of the University of Washington, Seattle, estimates there were 854,000 new cases of liver cancer and 810,000 deaths globally in 2015.

Cases of incident (new) liver cancer increased 75 percent between 1990 and 2015, which was mostly explained by population aging and population growth, according to the authors.

In 2015, hepatitis B virus was the leading cause of new cases of liver cancer, deaths and disability-adjusted life-years (DALYS), which is the sum of years of life lost and years lived with disability such that one DALY can be interpreted as one lost year of healthy life.

Alcohol was the next leading cause, according to the results.

East Asia had the most new cases of liver cancer, deaths and DALYS, the article reports.

Limitations of the study include that estimates depend on the quality and quantity of data used.

"Liver cancer remains a major public health burden globally. The major causes for liver cancer are highly preventable or treatable," the article concludes.

Source: The Jama Network

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