The researchers used the SEER-Medicare linked database to collect data on more than 5,600 people diagnosed with liver cancer. Among them, 63 percent of the cancers were associated with conditions such as diabetes, alcohol-related disorders and hepatitis C, chronic hepatitis B, obesity and several rare metabolic disorders. The relationship was highest for Asians, at 67.9 percent, and lowest for blacks, at 53.5 percent, the researchers noted.
Among the risk factors, the leading cause of liver cancer was diabetes (33.5 percent). Other factors determined to be contributors to liver malignancy were alcohol-related disorders (23.9 percent), hepatitis C (20.7 percent), hepatitis B (5.7 percent), rare metabolic disorders (3.1 percent) and obesity (2.7 percent).
That left 37 percent of liver cancers with indeterminate origins, McGlynn noted. "We have a long way to go because one-third of the tumors are not explained by these risk factors," she said during Tuesday's news conference.
For more information on prostate cancer, visit the American Cancer Society.
SOURCES: April 20, 2010, teleconference with Jing Ma, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor, medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston; Corinne E. Joshu, M.P.H., Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow, department of epidemiology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore; Katherine A. McGlynn, Ph.D., M.P.H., senior investigator, U.S. National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Md.; April 20, 2010, presentations, American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting, April 17-21, 2010, Washington, D.C.
All rights reserved