The Link Between Hepatitis and Liver Cancer

Doctor showing CT scan to patient

Morsa Images/DigitalVision/Getty Images

In medical terms, liver cancer is also known as “hepatocellular carcinoma”. According to works of research, the liver is made up of various cell types. The liver cells, or also called as hepatocytes, make up 80 percent of your liver which is considered as the primary source of liver cancer. Scarring of your liver is usually caused by cirrhosis wherein it’s also recognized as the main risk factor for liver cancer. Cirrhosis can be caused by hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and viral hepatitis, alcohol abuse, autoimmune diseases, hemochromatosis and other diseases that’ll lead to chronic inflammation of your liver.

Functions of Liver

In the present year, most people already heard the term “hepatitis.” Nonetheless, some of them aren’t aware of the deadly symptoms of this kind of disease.

  • Studies confirm that the liver is considered to be the largest internal organ. It has the ability to execute a wide variety of jobs and functions such as changing food into energy as well as cleaning out poisons and alcohol from the blood.
  • The liver is also the one that’s responsible to make bile which is a yellowish-green liquid that helps with digestion.
  • It also produces blood clotting factors and proteins that your body needs.
  • The liver is also the one that regulates glucose or sugar in your blood and at the same time stores additional sugar
  • It works with your intestines and stomach to easily and quickly digest food
  • It stores minerals and vitamins
  • The liver removes toxic or poisonous substances from your blood


Unfortunately, hepatitis has the potential to swell up your liver, just like liver cancer can. It simply means that it can stop your liver from working. Hepatitis can also lead to liver cancer or cirrhosis. Viruses are the major cause of hepatitis. The different types of disease are named for the viruses which cause them. For example, the cause of hepatitis A is the hepatitis A virus. However, alcohol and drug use can also result in hepatitis. There are cases that your immune system attacks your liver cells by mistake.

Vaccines have the ability to prevent other forms of hepatitis, and thus, in the long run, they can help avoid cancer of the liver as well. Hepatitis can be treated with medicines however there are cases that hepatitis can last a lifetime. Acute hepatitis is considered as the initial infection that can be severe or mild. If your infection lasts for 6 months, your condition is already called chronic hepatitis. Hepatitis A and E don’t cause chronic hepatitis. Hepatitis viruses B, C, and D have the ability to produce both chronic and acute illness. However, the hepatitis B and C are serious.

Facts About Hepatitis

  • According to studies, hepatitis can be defined as the inflammation of your liver. If you have hepatitis, your liver will stop working its function
  • Viruses are the most common cause of hepatitis. Viral hepatitis is recognized as the usual cause of liver cancer
  • There are 5 different viruses that can cause hepatitis. Hepatitis A and Hepatitis E are spread through human waste, contaminated water, and food. Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and Hepatitis D are spread through an infected individual’s body fluids or blood.
  • Vaccines have the potential to protect against Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B. However, no vaccines are available for Hepatitis C, Hepatitis D, and Hepatitis E.
  • Hepatitis B, C, and D can lead to long-lasting problems such as liver cancer, liver scarring or also known as cirrhosis.

Liver Cancer

Liver tumors can be classified as primary and metastatic. Primary liver tumors are divided into “benign” tumors that simply denote “not cancerous” and malignant wherein the tumors already spread to other parts of your body. The diagnosis of primary cancer of your liver is made by liver imaging tests that include CT scan and abdominal ultrasound with the combination of measurement of alpha-fetoprotein and blood vessels. However, the final diagnosis is made by the biopsy needle. In the present year, there are a wide variety of newer therapies that will offer you with good palliation for your liver cancer.

Today, the most common treatment for liver cancer is the direct injection of certain chemicals into your tumor with the use of the small needle, also known as embolization, that’s performed by a certified chemotherapeutic agent. This kind of liver cancer treatment is proven and tested effective and most people who already try this liver cancer treatment experience prolonged survival. Apart from this, liver transplantation and surgical resection are also considered as one of the best cures for liver cancer.

If you’re one of those individuals who suffer from hepatitis or other forms of hepatitis, it’s very imperative to consult your physicians immediately to prevent the occurrence of serious symptoms that can lead to sudden death. If you want to gather additional valuable information about hepatitis and liver cancer, make it a habit to browse the web and rest assured that you will learn and know the salient information that’ll help you to stay far from the possible symptoms of hepatitis and liver cancer.​

Was this page helpful?

Article Sources

Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial policy to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  • McGivern DR, Lemon SM. Virus-specific mechanisms of carcinogenesis in hepatitis C virus associated liver cancer. Oncogene. 2011 Apr 28;30(17):1969-83.
  • Wong Ch, Goh K. Chronic hepatitis B infection, and liver cancer. Biomed Imaging Interv J. 2006 Jul-Sep; 2(3): e7.