Liver Cancer Awareness Month and Viral Hepatitis
October is Liver Cancer Awareness Month. This observance provides an opportunity to raise awareness about the many liver cancer cases related to hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C virus infections and help improve policy makers and cancer control professionals’ awareness of viral hepatitis risk factors and evidence-based prevention strategies.
In the United States, an estimated 3.5 million people were living with the hepatitis C virus in 2010; and in 2012 approximately 850,000 people were living with the hepatitis B virus. Many people are unaware of their infection due to few noticeable symptoms. Hepatitis B and hepatitis C are serious illnesses that if left untreated can cause liver failure, liver cancer, and death.
Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C Are Major Risk Factors for Liver Cancer
People can lower their risk for liver cancer by:
- Getting vaccinated against hepatitis B – the hepatitis B vaccine is recommended for all infants at birth and for adults who may be at increased risk
- Getting tested for hepatitis C and receiving medical care if test is positive
Viral Hepatitis and Liver Cancer Prevention State Profiles
To help improve policy makers and cancer control professionals’ awareness of viral hepatitis risk factors and evidence-based prevention strategies, The George Washington University Cancer Center, in collaboration with CDC, developed educational materials on viral hepatitis and liver cancer. By accessing the map, policy makers and cancer control professionals will find state profiles on viral hepatitis and liver cancer statistics that can be used when communicating with clinicians and stakeholders.
Viral Hepatitis & Liver Cancer Prevention Profile Cdc-pdf[PDF – 175 KB] – National liver cancer profile (non-state specific) with general information about viral hepatitis and liver cancer.
Strategies to Reduce Viral Hepatitis-Associated Liver Cancer Cdc-pdf[PDF – 272 KB] – Shares the National Academy of Sciences report findings in a cancer context for use by policy makers and the cancer community.