Liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma, HCC) is a life-threatening complication of chronic liver disease. All across Europe, an increasing number of people is affected by primary liver cancer. Apart from alcohol abuse, undetected and untreated chronic infections with hepatitis B or C are becoming the main cause of liver cancer. Many hepatitis infections are not diagnosed until it is too late and people already suffer from advanced liver cancers.In November 2011, a Round Table meeting was held in EU Parliament to discuss a strategy against this serious health burden. EU parlamentarians Stephen Hughes MeP and Thomas Ulmer MeP chaired the meeting. Expert speakers Mark Thurz (secretary of EASL) and Achim Kautz (vice president of ELPA) highlighted the size of the problem. The primary aim of the strategy is to detect undiagnosed hepatitis B and C infections early, so that patients can be treated in time before their disease progresses to cirrhosis and liver cancer. The secondary aim is to implement a liver strategy both on a EU level as well as on a national level.The European expert group today published a document of EU Policy recommendations titled „Bridging the Gap between Viral Hepatitis and Liver Cancer: Policy Recommendations of the European Expert Group for Better Control of Liver Cancer by Optimally Managing Viral Hepatitis“. The recommendations call upon all national and European health institutions to take measures against liver cancer.
You can download the document here.