October is Liver Cancer Awareness Month! It’s always important to recognize the significant risks of chronic viral hepatitis on long-term health and survival. This month we are highlighting liver cancer, the fastest-growing cause of cancer death in the U.S.
The recently published “Effect of Hepatocellular Carcinoma on Mortality Among Individuals With Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C Infection in New York City, 2001–2012” examines
the incidence, risk factors, and influence of the most common type of liver cancer — hepatocellular carcinoma — on mortality across all individuals diagnosed with chronic viral hepatitis in NYC over a 12-year period. The study concludes that hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and HIV represent substantial risks to survival for both HBV- and HCV-infected individuals, and that, to combat this risk, those living with hepatitis C need increased, timely access to curative medications that would preclude HCC. The article emphasizes that prevention activities and the provision of harm reduction services, as well as early treatment, are crucial to reducing risk of death from HCC for individuals with HCV.