Chronic viral hepatitis and hepatocellular carcinoma in immigrant populations
Sofi Dhanaraj Clinical nurse specialist, Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham
Sofi Dhanaraj describes how to increase screening, diagnosis and treatment of this high-risk group
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), or primary liver cancer, is a growing public health problem worldwide and the second leading cause of cancer-related death globally. Incidence varies around the world because of the complex aetiology of HCC and its risk factors, including hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV). Immigrants to developed countries from geographic areas where these infections are prevalent may be at a disproportionate risk of developing HCC. In the UK, incidence rates of HCC have been rising over the past 30 years. If healthcare professionals understand that HBV and HCV increase the risk of HCC in the immigrant population, more individuals can be diagnosed and treated. Patients diagnosed with HBV and HCV should be referred to specialist follow-up programmes and given antiviral therapy. Screening for chronic viral infections and HCC surveillance are essential in high-risk populations for early detection and better survival.
Cancer Nursing Practice. 14, 7,34-37. doi: 10.7748/cnp.14.7.34.e1185Correspondence
This article has been subject to double-blind review and has been checked using antiplagiarism softwareConflict of interest
Received: 03 February 2015
Accepted: 29 June 2015