Liver Cancer Has Risen to the Sixth Deadliest Cancer in the U.S.


Contact: Clare Ubersax

Liver Cancer Has Risen to the Sixth Deadliest Cancer in the U.S.

A new CDC report sheds light on the growing liver cancer epidemic.

Donna Cryer, CEO of the Global Liver Institute, is just as alarmed as the public by the findings from a recent CDC report on liver cancer prevalence and mortality rates throughout the United States. Mrs. Cryer commented, “Liver related diseases are sweeping our nation and this data confirms how important our advocacy work has become. We must continue to bring awareness to this epidemic and encourage researchers to focus on liver cancer prevention and treatment methods.”

While all cancer mortality rates, combined, have steadily declined since 1990, liver cancer mortality rates are moving in the opposite direction - and quickly. According to the CDC report, in the year 2000, liver cancer had the 9th highest cancer mortality rate among men and women aged 25 and older.  By 2016, the overall liver cancer mortality rate increased by 43% and was the 6th highest among all cancers. Between 2000 and 2016, liver cancer mortality increased 48% among non-hispanic whites, 43% among non-hispanic blacks, and 27% for hispanic groups.

The underlying reason for the increase in liver cancer mortality rates is that more Americans are developing liver cancer. Poor diet and lifestyle choices are contributing factors to the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), both of which can progress to liver cancer.

Given the severity of liver cancer mortality rates, the disparities in funding for liver disease and liver cancer research must be addressed. According to a report from the National Cancer Institute from 2016, $75 million went towards liver cancer research compared to $520 million that was devoted to breast cancer research that same year. Breast cancer mortality rates have steadily declined by 39% from 1989 to 2015 perhaps due to research and early detection efforts of the disease.

About the Global Liver Institute

The Global Liver Institute is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt not-for-profit organization, headquartered in Washington, D.C., United States. Our Vision is for liver health to take its place on the global public health agenda commensurate with its prevalence and impact. Our Mission is to improve the effectiveness of the liver community by promoting innovation, collaboration, and scaling optimal approaches to eradicating liver disease. For more information see and connect with us on Twitter @GlobalLiver or Facebook.

Global Liver Institute
1875 Connecticut Avenue NW, 10th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20009