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International Liver Research Community United Behind World Gastroenterology Organisation Action
Date:11/12/2012

BOSTON, Nov. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The World Gastroenterology Organisation declared hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) to be the major health issue on which it will focus in 2013. HCC is the number five cause of death worldwide and the number three cause of cancer deaths worldwide, with approximately 625,000 new cases each year. The WGO reported there were 700,000 deaths worldwide in 2008, and eight out of ten of those deaths occurred in developing countries. Unfortunately, the mortality rate is nearly 100 percent. A diagnosis of HCC almost always results in death within five years as a five-year survival rate is only 5 percent. HCC is almost always related to underlying liver disease such as chronic viral hepatitis and cirrhosis. Those causes are both preventable and curable. HCC is the number one killer in an increasing number of low-resource countries.

A consortium of international liver research societies met in Boston, Massachusetts, at the 63rd annual meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD). AASLD is one of seven societies who supported the WGO in this initiative. The other six societies are the European Association for the Study of Liver, Asian Pacific Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, Latin American Association for the Study of the Liver, Mexican Association of Hepatology, African Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, and Canadian Association for the Study of the Liver.

Greater awareness of HCC may lead to lower mortality rates because of implementation of strategies for prevention such as vaccination for hepatitis B and antiviral treatment of hepatitis B and C. Furthermore, regular surveillance of patients with liver disease may lead to early detection with better options for treatment. Greater awareness among all physicians of the risks of HCC and the benefits of early detection is essential in addressing a major global medical t
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SOURCE American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD)
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