The epidemiology of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is changing as a result of immigration to Europe and North America. Immigrants to these countries bring with them the prevalence of chronic viral hepatitis that exists in their home countries. In addition, epidemics of hepatitis C infection in Europe in the 1950-1970s and in North America in the 1960s and 1970s have produced a cohort of infected individuals who have reached a duration of infection when HCC increases in incidence. Therefore, the epidemiology of HCC parallels the epidemiology of chronic hepatitis B and hepatitis C. Whereas in Japan the peak of HCC incidence may have passed, elsewhere HCC continues to increase in incidence.
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