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Hepatocellular carcinoma

Synonym(s)

  • HCC - hepatocellular carcinoma
  • hepatic cancer
  • hepatic carcinoma
  • hepatocarcinoma
  • hepatoma
  • LCC - liver cell carcinoma
  • liver cancer
  • liver carcinoma
  • primary carcinoma of liver

Definition(s)

A malignant tumor that arises from hepatocytes. Hepatocellular carcinoma is relatively rare in the United States but very common in all African countries south of the Sahara and in Southeast Asia. Most cases are seen in patients over the age of 50 years, but this tumor can also occur in younger individuals and even in children. Hepatocellular carcinoma is more common in males than females and is associated with hepatitis B, hepatitis C, chronic alcohol abuse and cirrhosis. Serum elevation of alpha-fetoprotein occurs in a large percentage of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma. Grossly, hepatocellular carcinoma may present as a single mass, as multiple nodules, or as diffuse liver involvement. Microscopically, there is a wide range of differentiation from tumor to tumor (well differentiated to poorly differentiated tumors). Hepatocellular carcinomas quickly metastasize to regional lymph nodes and lung. The overall median survival of untreated liver cell carcinoma is about 4 months. The most effective treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma is complete resection of the tumor. Lately, an increasing number of tumors have been treated with liver transplantation. --2002

Definition from: NCI Thesaurus via Unified Medical Language SystemThis link leads to a site outside Genetics Home Reference. at the National Library of Medicine

A type of adenocarcinoma, the most common type of liver tumor.

Definition from:  National Cancer Institute dictionaryThis link leads to a site outside Genetics Home Reference.

Related discussion in the Handbook

See also Understanding Medical Terminology.

 
Published: December 16, 2014