With more than 841,000 new cases diagnosed every year, liver cancer is the sixth most common cancer worldwide. Almost 450,000 new cases are diagnosed annually in China, Japan and South Korea, 82,000 in the EU, and about 37,000 in the United States. Men are significantly more affected overall than women.1
Liver cancer causes death more often than many other tumors, and patients are usually diagnosed with late-stage disease. It is the third leading cause of cancer-related death globally. Liver cancer accounts for approximately 782,000 deaths worldwide each year2, and less than nine percent of patients live for five years after diagnosis.3
An estimated 75-85% of liver cancers worldwide are HCC (hepatocellular carcinoma), making it the most common form of liver cancer.4
Advice for patients
Each body reacts differently to medicines. Therefore it is impossible to tell which medicine works best for you. Please consult your physician.
Prevention and Detection
The main risk factors for HCC are chronic infection with hepatitis B or hepatitis C virus5, which is regarded as a potential precursor of a tumor, as is cirrhosis of the liver, a pathological change in the liver tissue involving shrinkage. Two to three decades can pass before the carcinoma develops. There are additional risk factors that increase the likelihood of a tumor developing, such as excessive alcohol consumption. A common type of liver condition called nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which is closely associated with obesity and diabetes, also may increase the risk of liver cancer.
The early detection of HCC is crucial for successful treatment, because the tumor can be surgically removed in early stage disease. In many cases, diagnoses are made when the disease has progressed past the point of surgical resection. Symptoms usually do not occur until the disease has reached an advanced stage – and to some extent symptoms are relatively non-specific. They include loss of appetite and nausea, as well as pressure and pain in the upper abdomen.
A blood test and an ultrasound examination can detect HCC. Computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can then confirm a possible diagnosis and help detect the size, shape and location of the tumor, as well as potential metastases in advanced stages of the disease.
Bayer Treatments for HCC
The two Bayer drugs are both a type of targeted therapy that combat tumor growth in two ways: by inhibiting the division and growth of cancer cells and by blocking the supply of blood to the tumor. Approved for the treatment of advanced HCC in many countries around the world including the U.S., countries of the EU, China and Japan, they can be used by physicians as a sequence of two proven and effective treatments to improve treatment outcomes for patients.
Bayer’s diagnostic options for liver cancer
Every treatment starts with the right diagnosis. Magnetic resonance imaging uses magnetic fields to produce detailed images of the body. A special dye called a contrast medium is given before the scan to create a clearer picture. Bayer’s Radiology portfolio includes diagnostic options that help better detect and diagnose tumors in the organ, thus supporting the treatment decisions of doctors as well as the therapy planning for patients.
2 Bray F, Ferlay J, et.al. Global Cancer Statistics 2018: GLOBOCAN Estimates of Incidence and Mortality Worldwide for 36 Cancers in 185 Countries. CA Cancer J Clin. 2018 Nov;68(6):394-424.doi: 10.3322/-caac.21492. Epub 2018 Sep 1. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30207593. Accessed November 2019.
4 Bray F, Ferlay J, et.al. Global Cancer Statistics 2018: GLOBOCAN Estimates of Incidence and Mortality Worldwide for 36 Cancers in 185 Countries. CA Cancer J Clin. 2018 Nov;68(6):394-424. doi: 10.3322/-caac.21492. Epub 2018 Sep 1. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30207593. Accessed November 2019.
5 Bray F, Ferlay J, et.al. Global Cancer Statistics 2018: GLOBOCAN Estimates of Incidence and Mortality Worldwide for 36 Cancers in 185 Countries. CA Cancer J Clin. 2018 Nov;68(6):394-424. doi: 10.3322/-caac.21492. Epub 2018 Sep 1. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30207593. Accessed November 2019.
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