In 2022, liver and intrahepatic bile duct cancer accounted for 2.2% of all new cancer cases in the United States. A person’s sex, age, or race may affect the probability of developing this cancer in their lifetime.

A note about sex and gender

Sex and gender exist on spectrums. This article will use the terms “male,” “female,” or both to refer to sex assigned at birth. Click here to learn more.

According to the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program (SEER), liver and intrahepatic bile duct cancer is relatively uncommon compared to other cancers. It is the 13th most common cancer in the U.S.

Based on data from 2017–2019, 1.1% of people will receive a liver and intrahepatic bile duct cancer diagnosis during their lifetime.

This article will discuss the prevalence and death rates for liver cancer by sex, age, and race.

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The American Cancer Society (ACS) notes that the incidence rate of liver cancer and intrahepatic bile duct cancer has more than tripled since 1980 and the death rates have doubled.

SEER states that, in 2022, the rate of new liver and intrahepatic bile duct cancer cases was 9.5 per 100,000 people per year.

There were 41,260 estimated new cases of liver and intrahepatic bile duct cancer, which accounted for 2.2% of all new cancer cases in the U.S.

There were an estimated 30,530 deaths as a result of liver and intrahepatic bile duct cancer. This accounted for 5% of all cancer-related deaths in 2022.

Males have a higher risk of developing liver and intrahepatic bile duct cancer.

A 2021 article notes that liver cancer is the fifth most common type of cancer for males and the eighth most common type for females.

SEER provides the following statistics on the basis of a person’s sex per 100,000 people:

SexPrevalence
Male14.4
Female5.2

The risk of developing liver and intrahepatic bile duct cancer increases with age.

Using data from 2019, the following statistics outline the rate of liver and intrahepatic bile duct cancer on the basis of age per 100,000 people:

AgeFemalesMalesOverall prevalence
Under 150.40.40.4
15–390.40.60.5
40–645.517.811.5
65–7425.17246.9
75+32.367.546.9

The prevalence of liver cancer varies widely by race:

Prevalence (per 100,000 people)
Hispanic, any race15.3
Non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaska Native21.2
Non-Hispanic Asian/Pacific Islander12.5
Non-Hispanic Black10.81
Non-Hispanic white7.7

According to the ACS, the lifetime probability of developing or dying from liver cancer is higher for non-Hispanic Black people than for non-Hispanic white people.

The following table outlines the lifetime probability of developing liver and intrahepatic bile duct cancer on the basis of sex and race:

BlackNon-Hispanic white
Males1.6%, or 1 in 62 people1.1%, or 1 in 89 people
Females0.6%, or 1 in 173 people0.5%, or 1 in 212 people

The following table outlines the lifetime probability of dying from liver and intrahepatic bile duct cancer on the basis of sex and race:

BlackNon-Hispanic white
Males1.2%, or 1 in 83 people0.9%, or 1 in 114 people
Females0.5%, or 1 in 182 people0.5%, or 1 in 219 people

Why might these figures be the case?

A 2021 article states that in the U.S., 80–90% of cases of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most common type of liver cancer, develop as a result of cirrhosis.

Risk factors for HCC include:

The authors note that the prevalence of risk factors for HCC can differ according to a person’s race, ethnicity, and sex.

However, it is important to acknowledge that social determinants of health, such as poverty and environmental stressors, can lead to higher rates of risk factors for HCC in marginalized groups.

These risk factors can include smoking, having obesity, and alcohol use.

Additionally, marginalized groups and those who are socioeconomically disadvantaged may:

  • have less access to cancer surveillance
  • have less access to health insurance
  • be less able to afford treatment

According to a recent research article from the Journal of Hepatology, 905,700 people received a liver cancer diagnosis and 830,200 people died from liver cancer globally in 2020.

The ACS states that liver cancer is most common in countries in Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. It is the most common type of cancer in many of these countries.

Compared with other types of cancer, liver and intrahepatic bile duct cancer is relatively rare, being the 13th most common type of cancer in the U.S.

SEER notes that in 2022, there were 9.5 cases of liver and intrahepatic bile duct cancer per 100,000 people. This accounted for 2.2% of all new cancer cases.

The prevalence of liver cancer varies depending on a person’s sex, age, and race.