Liver cancer and alcohol

Clin Liver Dis. 2012 Nov;16(4):839-50. doi: 10.1016/j.cld.2012.08.011.


Annually, hepatocellular carcinoma is diagnosed in approximately a half-million people worldwide. Based on the association of alcohol with cancer, a International Agency for Research on Cancer working group recently deemed alcoholic beverages "carcinogenic to humans," causally related to occurrence of malignant tumors of the oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, liver, colorectum, and female breast. Alcohol metabolism in the liver leads to reactive oxygen species production, induction of activity of cytochrome P450s, and reduction of antioxidants. This review analyzes the epidemiology and pathogenesis of alcohol in hepatocellular cancer.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects*
  • Alcoholism / complications
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / etiology*
  • Diabetes Complications / etiology
  • Ethanol / toxicity
  • Female
  • Hepatitis B, Chronic / complications
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / complications
  • Humans
  • Iron Overload / complications
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Alcoholic / complications
  • Liver Diseases / complications
  • Liver Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Male
  • Metabolic Networks and Pathways / drug effects
  • Metabolic Syndrome / complications
  • Obesity / complications
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / adverse effects


  • Ethanol