To provide information on poorly described Canadian hepatocellular cancer epidemiology, we analyzed incident cases abstracted from the Canadian Cancer Registration Database (1969-1997) and Canadian annual death data (1969-1998). Age, sex, geographic distribution, and secular trends were described. Projection models were developed for the next decade.
Results indicated much higher incidence and mortality rates in males than females, with substantial increases for both with age. Age-standardized incidence rates increased an average of 3.4% per year in males, 1.2% per year in females (1969-1997). Age-standardized mortality rates increased an average of 1.48% in males, but decreased an average of 0.46% per year in females (1969-1998). Join-point analysis of the linear trends in the age-standardized incidence and mortality rates suggested that a new trend started to emerge about 1991. The fitted non-linear multiplicative model predicted the occurrence of 1,565 new cases and 802 deaths in the year 2010. HCC incidence was the highest in British Colombia, followed by Quebec, and the lowest in the Atlantic region.
Incidence rates of hepatocellular carcinoma have increased substantially, consistent with the reported increase in the prevalence of Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) and Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) infections in recent decades.