Liver cancer – often detected too late

Liver cancer is a malignant disease of the liver cells. If the tumour originates in the liver, it is referred to as hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) or liver cell cancer. In contrast, cholangiocellular carcinoma (bile duct carcinoma, CCA) is a rare malignant tumour originating from the hepatic bile ducts, which can be limited to the liver but can also extend into the common bile duct outside the liver.

Liver cell cancer is usually preceded by a disease of the liver. If the underlying disease progresses or remains untreated, it can severely damage the liver and lead to permanent inflammation of the liver cells. The persistent inflammation over many years leads to scarring of the cells (cirrhosis). In certain liver diseases (HBV, HDV, MASH), liver cancer can also develop without cirrhosis.

The situation is different for cholangiocarcinoma (CCA). To date, it is only known that only the liver-associated disease PSC is considered a trigger of bile duct cancer.

In recent years, new innovative treatment options and genetic biomarkers have been discovered that significantly improve the prognosis for patients. The prerequisite is that the disease is detected at an early stage.

Despite unanimous acceptance in professional circles and recommendations by professional societies worldwide in favour of screening with ultrasound in high-risk populations, the majority of patients are only diagnosed at a late stage and can no longer benefit from curative treatment options.

The mortality rate in Germany is 9,000, while the global annual death rate is estimated at 830,000.

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The ILCM (International Liver Cancer Movement) is the first global patient association that was launched by Kautz5, among others.

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Gender-appropriate language: In principle, this text includes all genders. For better readability, however, only one gender form is used.

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