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Status of, and strategies for improving, adherence to HCC screening and surveillance

Authors Francica G, Borzio M

Received 18 January 2019

Accepted for publication 26 June 2019

Published 24 July 2019 Volume 2019:6 Pages 131—141

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JHC.S159269

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Nicola Ludin

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Ahmed O. Kaseb


Giampiero Francica,1 Mauro Borzio2

1Unità Operativa Ecografia ed Ecointerventistica, Pineta Grande Hospital, Castel Volturno, Italy; 2Unità Operativa Complessa Gastroenterologia ed Endoscopia Digestiva, Azienda Socio Sanitaria TerritorialeMelegnano e della Martesana, Milano, Italy

Abstract: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) represents the second leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide and the main cause of death in patients with cirrhosis. Secondary prevention of HCC can be accomplished through the serial application of screening tests (ultrasound with or without alpha-fetoprotein) to detect the presence of subclinical lesions amenable to potentially curative treatment, such as surgery and ablation. The efficacy of HCC screening is accepted by hepatologists in terms of decline in cancer-specific mortality, but its translation into clinical practice is less than ideal. The effectiveness of HCC screening is hampered by several factors: failure to identify at-risk patients, failure to access care and failure to detect HCC. For each of these steps, possible improvements are discussed in order to face the changing etiology of cirrhosis and expand the screening of at-risk populations by including selected nonalcoholic fatty liver disease patients.

Keywords: cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma, ultrasound, alpha-fetoprotein, screening

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