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Liver cancer – often detected too late
Liver cancer is a malignant disease of the liver cells. When the tumor originates in the liver, it is called hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) or primary liver cancer. In contrast, cholangiocellular carcinoma (bile duct carcinoma, CCA) is a rare malignant tumor originating in the liver bile ducts, which can be limited to the liver but can also extend into the main bile duct, which is outside the liver.
Primary liver cancer (HCC) is usually preceded by liver disease. If the underlying disease progresses or is left untreated, it can severely damage the liver and lead to permanent inflammation of the liver cells. The persistent years of inflammation lead to scarring of the cells (cirrhosis). In certain liver diseases (HBV, HDV, NASH), liver cancer can also develop without cirrhosis.
The situation is different with bile duct cancer (CCA). To date, it is only known that only the liver-associated disease PSC is considered to be a trigger for bile duct cancer.
Globally, the annual death toll is estimated at 830,000. The mortality rate in Germany is also 9,000.