Chronic hepatitis B infections cause 80% of all primary liver cancer worldwide.
Patients with chronic hepatitis B infections are at increased risk for progressing to liver cancer or hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), whether they develop cirrhosis or not.
In the U.S. the overall incidence of cancer is decreasing, except for primary liver cancer (as reported by the National Cancer Institute in 2005).
This is due in large part to the increased number of Americans who are chronically infected with hepatitis B and hepatitis C. Although survival rates for most types of common cancers have improved over the years, the 5-year survival rate for liver cancer is still below 10%.
In the world, primary liver cancer is the 3rd leading cause of death. According to the World Health Organization, at least 550,000 people die each year from primary liver cancer.
The hepatitis B vaccine was named the first "Anti-Cancer Vaccine" vaccine by the U.S. Food and Dug Administration since it prevents hepatitis B infections, the leading cause of primary liver cancer.
Early diagnosis of small tumors is the only effective way of improving the outcome of liver cancer treatment, and that is only possible through screening of the high-risk population. Universal hepatitis B vaccination is ultimately the only hope for reducing the incidence of this frequently fatal cancer worldwide.
tags:Hepatitis B and Liver Cancer,The hepatitis B vaccine,chronic hepatitis B inections,