I was recently doing some research on liver disease and across some statistics that astounded me. This concerns the growth of liver cancer. This data comes from the National Cancer Institute. I took its data and compared 1980 to 2015, the last year of the data that I saw.
This data showed that overall cancer deaths (as expressed as number of deaths per 100,000 people) had decreased by 23%. That’s great, right? It’s when you look at the location of the cancers that it gets really interesting.
Here’s what I found:
That’s no typo, liver cancer deaths increased by freaking 137%. Now liver cancer is still small potatoes in terms of absolute size. In 1980, it represented 1.3% of all cancer deaths; in 2015 it represented 4.2% of such deaths. So it’s “market share” is growing.
There was also data on the incidence of cancer. In this case, the incidence of cancer has actually slightly increased (4%) over that 36-year time period.
Once again, the devil is in the details:
Again, just wow!! I think you can see the effects of increased awareness in the death data for most cancers. In the case of liver cancer, and all that leads up to it, increased awareness of its importance hopefully will drive down its numbers.