Liver Cancer

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What Is Liver Cancer? TOPICS

What are the key statistics about liver cancer?

The American Cancer Society’s estimates for primary liver cancer and intrahepatic bile duct cancer in the United States for 2015 are:

  • About 35,660 new cases (25,510 in men and 10,150 in women) will be diagnosed
  • About 24,550 people (17,030 men and 7,520 women) will die of these cancers

The percentage of Americans developing liver cancer has been rising slowly for several decades.

Liver cancer is seen more often in men than in women. An average man's lifetime risk of getting liver or intrahepatic bile duct cancer is about 1 in 81, while an average woman's risk is about 1 in 196. Most cases occur in people with certain risk factors (see the section "What are the risk factors for liver cancer?").

The average age at diagnosis of liver cancer is 63. More than 95% of people diagnosed with liver cancer are 45 years of age or older. About 3% are between 35 and 44 years of age and about 2% are younger than 35.

Liver cancer is much more common in countries in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia than in the US. In many of these countries it is the most common type of cancer. More than 700,000 people are diagnosed with this cancer each year throughout the world. Liver cancer is also a leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide, accounting for more than 600,000 deaths each year.


Last Medical Review: 11/18/2014
Last Revised: 01/13/2015