Characteristics of Liver Cancer at Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital in Phnom Penh, Cambodia


Background: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most frequent cancers in South East Asiancountries including Cambodia, where prevalence of chronic carriers of hepatitis B and C virus (HBV and HCV)is reported to be very high. We reviewed HCC cases admitted to a cancer hospital in Phnom Penh, which is theonly one hospital for cancer treatment and care in Cambodia during the study period. Materials and
Methods:Information was collected from medical records of 281 cases (210 males and 71 females) diagnosed as primaryHCC from 2006 to 2011.
Results: The subjects were 7-81 years old with a median age of 53 years. Hypochondriacpain was the most common complained symptom (74%). One third of the cases presented with jaundice. Nearlyhalf had ascites at their first visit. One third had liver cirrhosis. Nearly three fourths of the cases presentedwith tumor sized more than 50 mm in diameter, and in almost all cases (97.4%) the size was more than 20 mm.Among 209 subjects tested, hepatitis virus carriers were 75.6%; 46.4% for HBV only, 21.5% for HCV only,and 7.7% for both viral infections. Median age of patients with HBV was about ten years younger than thosewith HCV.
Conclusions: This study revealed the characteristics of HCC cases in Cambodia, although there wereseveral limitations. Most HCC cases were infected with HBV and/or HCV, and diagnosed at late stages withcomplications. This implicated that public health intervention to prevent HBV and HCV infection is of highpriority.