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China National Journal of New Gastroenterology


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the major cancers in the world with a mortality of more than 250 000 cases yearly. More than 137 000 cases of HCC were diagnosed each year in China, which acount approximately for more than 40 percent of the total number in the world. HCC has become the second major cause of death for cancer in China since 1990, and its annual mortality is expected to be 21.2 cases per 100 000 population in the year 2000. Even though progresses have been achieved for HCC diagnosis and treat ment, its 5-year mortality is still higher than 95 percent. The prevalence of HCC is quite different among different areas around the world. It is considerably high in South-East Asia and sub- Saharan Africa, particularly in some southern and eastern regions inside China such as Fusui County in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and Qidong City in Jiangsu Province. The standardized incidence of HCC in these high-risk regions may exceed 100 cases per 100000 of population. The obvious difference in geographic distribution of HCC indicates that there must be environmental factors for its pathogenesis.