Hepatocellular carcinoma is cancer that starts in the liver.
Primary liver cell carcinoma; Tumor - liver; Cancer - liver; Hepatoma
Hepatocellular carcinoma accounts for most liver cancers. This type of cancer occurs more often in men than women. It is usually diagnosed in people age 50 or older.
Hepatocellular carcinoma is not the same as metastatic liver cancer, which starts in another organ (such as the breast or colon) and spreads to the liver.
In most cases, the cause of liver cancer is long-term damage and scarring of the liver (cirrhosis). Cirrhosis may be caused by:
- Alcohol abuse
- Autoimmune diseases of the liver
- Hepatitis B or C virus infection
- Inflammation of the liver that is long-term (chronic)
- Iron overload in the body (hemochromatosis)
People with hepatitis B or C are at high risk of liver cancer, even if they do not develop cirrhosis.