Hepatocellular Carcinoma at 20x Magnification
In addition to certain hepatitis viruses, hepatocellular carcinoma is commonly linked to cirrhosis of the liver. Approximately 3 to 5 percent of the population with cirrhosis is diagnosed with hepatocellular carcinoma each year, and about 80 percent of all people with hepatocellular carcinoma are cirrhotic. The malignant tumors of the liver are also, in some cases, attributable to exposure to aflatoxins, a group of toxic compounds produced by various molds. These molds tend to invade stored food supplies, such as peanuts, grains, and beans. In the United States, aflatoxins have been almost completely eliminated, but in some other countries, they are quite prevalent.