Article Abstract

Hepatocellular carcinoma in India

Authors: Gouri Shankar Bhattacharyya, K. Govind Babu, Hemant Malhotra, Anantbhushan A Ranade, Shaiqua Murshed, Debasis Datta


Cancers of the liver are one of the commonest cancers that occur in the world, the commonest of which is the hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). It is considered to be the 5th commonest cancer in the world. In the areas that are endemic for hepatitis B and C, it is extremely common. Unfortunately, India which is an endemic zone for hepatitis B, there has been no comprehensive analyzed data for HCC.
Incidence of HCC in India occurs at two peaks, one at a young age between 40 to 55 years and another above 60 years. Eighty per cent of all HCCs occurring in India occur with cirrhosis of liver in the background and 60% of all these cases are hepatitis B positive carriers. Symptoms are reflective of late presentation with advanced disease.
Surgery, the only curative modulus available, unfortunately is not possible in 95% of HCC patients. Majority of the patients are treated with palliative and supportive care and life spans are limited. Sorafenib is used in a small section of patients. Characterization of HCC with molecular sub-typing is the need of the hour.