During the analysis of risk factors in relation to primary liver cancer, we noticed an association between the confirmed (as opposed to probable) pathologic diagnosis of liver cancer and a positive history of hepatitis. This report pursues the observation using data from the Selected Cancers Study. Study subjects included 168 men who lived in areas covered by eight cancer registries in the U.S., and were pathologically diagnosed with confirmed or probable primary liver cancer during 1984-1988. The results showed that men with confirmed primary liver cancer were six times more likely to have a hepatitis diagnosed within 3 years before liver cancer detection, compared with those with probable primary liver cancer. Further analyses showed that men with a confirmed primary liver cancer or with a recent hepatitis more likely had a tissue specimen obtained from a surgery, and less likely had one from an aspiration. Upon adjustment for type of specimen, the association between pathological confirmation of primary liver cancer and recent hepatitis persisted. The results raised questions whether recent hepatitis and its pathologic changes influence choice of tissue-collecting procedure and ultimate pathological diagnosis of primary liver cancer. Other factors that might be related to the findings also need to be examined in future studies.
- Liver cancer