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Liver and Pancreas


Why does Mongolia have the world's highest liver cancer rate?

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Kanishka Pandey

Member since 16 October 2017 16 December 2017 at 10:39

Mongolia has the world’s highest rate of liver cancer mortality—six times the global average—and the number are increasing. According to the World Health Organization estimation, one out of every 10 deaths in Mongolia is from hepatocellular carcinoma or cirrhosis (which is often observed as a precursor to liver cancer). 
In people with chronic low-level aflatoxin exposure, this virus enhances the risk of developing liver cancer. Aflatoxin exposure is one of the main causes to increase liver cancer risk. However, it was not the main cause for cancer prevailing in Mongolia. 

According to an article published in the Lancet in 2011 which states that: 
The global health community has given little attention to liver disease relative to other public health issues. Nearly all Mongolians with liver disease are carriers of hepatitis B or C viruses or both, and researchers agree that those infections are the main causes of liver disease in the country. More than a quarter of Mongolians are chronic carriers of at least one of the viruses, and almost none are aware of their status. 

Alcohol Consumption 
Alcohol consumption, which hastens progression to cirrhosis for those with concurrent viral infection, is also widespread in Mongolia. Hepatitis infections are great risks for the liver cancer. The country’s hepatitis C prevalence continues to rise. Programs for babyhood immunization can lessen the risk. The World Health Organization has an extensive website which describes health impacts of hepatitis and global efforts to reduce the spreading of the disease to a great extent.