In the United States approximately 10,000 new patients are diagnosed with primary liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma) each year. This is the most common type of cancer to arise in the liver.
The number of liver cancers diagnosed in the US and throughout the world is increasing at an alarming rate. The number of liver cancers will continue to increase over the next few decades. Most of the increase in liver cancer is attributable to patients who became infected with hepatitis B and C viruses. Hepatitis B and hepatitis C viral infections peaked in the 1950's to 1980's. Approximately 4 million (that is about 2% of the US population!) Americans are infected with Hepatitis C virus. People become infected with hepatitis viruses by coming in contact with infected person's blood. After 2 to 3 decades patients infected with these viruses can develop complications of long-standing (chronic) viral infection.
The complications of long-standing (chronic) viral infection include liver scarring (cirrhosis) and liver cancer. Liver cancer is a lethal cancer with untreated patients rarely surviving more than one year.
The Johns Hopkins Medical Institution is a leader in the treatment and investigative study of liver cancer. We have created this Web site as a resource for patients and physicians to access the latest clinical and research developments as well as to the multidisciplinary team assembled here to treat liver cancer.
We have also included a "chat room" so that users of the web page can directly support each other.