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Ann Hepatol. 2006 Jan-Mar;5(1):16-24.

Hepatocellular carcinoma. An overview.

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Department of Biomedical Research and Liver Unit, Medica Sur Clinic & Foundation, Mexico City, Mexico.


Hepatocellular carcinoma is a common malignancy affecting approximately one million people around the world every year. The incidence is low in the occidental world and high in locations such as Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Hepatocellular carcinoma primarily affects old people, reaching its highest prevalence among those aged 65 to 69 years old. Chronic infection by the hepatitis B virus is the most common cause of this disease. Other important causes are cirrhosis, chronic viral hepatitis (hepatitis C virus, and hepatitis B plus D viruses), alcohol abuse, obesity, hemochromatosis, alfa1-antitripsin deficiency, and toxins similar to aflatoxin. In most cases, hepatocellular carcinoma is asymptomatic and has a low life expectancy. This article presents a review of the most important epidemiological, diagnostic and treatment data about this disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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