Countries With The Highest Incidence Of Liver Cancer In The World

A green ribbon for liver cancer awareness.
A green ribbon for liver cancer awareness.

Cancer is currently one of the leading non-communicable diseases around the world. Cancer, if not detected at an early stage will lead to death. There are different types of cancer including breast cancer, liver cancer, cancer of the brain, prostate cancer, and colon cancer among others. Liver cancer which attacks the liver and erodes it occurs when the cells in the liver grow or split abnormally therefore not responding to the regular cell growth and division. The abnormal liver cells will then grow into a tumor which invades the surrounding layers of the liver and may eventually spread to other organs in the body such as bile duct and gallbladder. Liver cancer is triggered by heavy alcohol drinking, chronic hepatitis B infection, and other liver diseases such as fatty liver disease. Liver cancer is widespread around the world. However, countries with the highest incidences of this type of cancer include;

Which Countries Have The Highest Incidence Of Liver Cancer In The World?


Mongolia leads the world with the highest incidences of liver cancer, six times the global average with an age-standardized rate of 78.1 per 100,000. Alcohol dependency among the Mongolians is the major contributing factor to liver cancer in the country. An adult in the country drinks an average of 3 liters of both locally processed and imported pure spirit every day. Liver cancer remains the leading cause of death across gender though men are at a higher risk. 52% of the males and 47% of the female are likely to die from liver cancer in the country. Moreover, 3 in every ten deaths are liver cancer related. The situation is made worse by the fact that the health officials in the country and Asia do not give attention to liver cancer. The country channels most of its health resources to fighting HIV.


Liver cancer is becoming a health concern in Lao PDR. The country has the highest leading cause of liver cancer in the South East Asia. Liver cancer in Lao PDR is mainly caused by the alcohol consumption, in particular among the adult population. The country has no official registry for liver cancer deaths but it is estimated than one in every ten deaths is liver cancer related. The country has no capacity to treat cancer thus most of the patients are referred to countries like India for specialized treatment. According to World Cancer Research Fund, cases of liver cancer are standardized at 52.6 per 100000 people.

The Gambia

Liver cancer is the most common cancer in Gambia with a standardized age of 25.8 per 100000 people. The cause of this type of cancer is mainly by hepatitis B virus infection. HBV is endemic in the country with 15% to 20% of the population being carriers of the virus. The geographical location of Gambia influences the infection of the liver causing HBV and HCV. Another cause of the widespread liver cancer is the consumption of the dietary aflatoxin. In Gambia, the male-to-female ratio of the liver affected patients stands at 4:1.

What Are The Options For Treatment?

Highest incidences of liver cancer are reported in Africa and Asia with Latin America recording the lowest incidences. Other countries with the highest prevalence of liver cancer include Egypt, Vietnam, Korean Republic, Thailand, China, Cambodia, and Guinea.The treatment for liver cancer especially at early stages is surgery (partial hepatectomy) other options include radiofrequency ablation, alcohol (ethanol) injection or chemoembolization. At advanced stages of hepatocellular cancer (HCC), a biological therapy known as Sorafenib is an option.

Countries With The Highest Incidence Of Liver Cancer In The World

RankCountryAge-Standardised Rate per 100,000 (World)
2Lao PDR52.6
3The Gambia25.8
5Viet Nam24.6
6Korea, Republic of22.8

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