Hepatocellular cancer (HCC) is the 5th common cancer in man and 7th cancer in women overall in the world. Although HCC is not in the most frequent cancers in the majority of the world, its high mortality and short survival time causes a serious worldwide health burden. Incidence to mortality rate is 0.95 for HCC and five years survival is only 6.9 %. HCC is not distributed evenly throughout the world. More cases of HCC occur in Asia and Africa than in Western countries. China by itself has half of the world’s HCC amount, 395.00 annual cases with the incidence of 35 in 100 000. High incidence of HCC also occurs in the Sub-Saharan Africa, particularly the western region of Africa. Mediterranean countries have intermediate incidence rates while North and South America have a relatively low. The most important risk factors for HCC are hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), consumption of aflatoxin contaminated food stuffs, excessive consumption of alcohol, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Risk factors for HCC vary by region. Geographical variability in the incidence of HCC has mainly been attributed to the distribution of HBV and HCV infection. Eighty percent of HCC are associated with either of two viruses. HBV infection is the predominant HCC risk factor worldwide and accounts for 75 to 80 percent of virus-associated HCCs. In the Western world, chronic alcoholic liver disease has become one of the leading risk factors of HCC. Aflatoxin is produced by a fungus in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa in which climatic factors and storage techniques favour the fungus to be a common contaminant of foods, and make it a serious risk factor for HCC in those regions. HCC incidence is higher in NAFLD patients than that observed in general population. This association is alarming due to the globally rising incidence of NAFLD in many countries, which means HCC will present itself as a major health burden in the near future.

Prof. Dr. Ayşegul Ozakyol attended, in the years 1979-1985, Eskisehir Osmangazi University Medical School in Eskisehir, Turkey and earned her degre of medicine. She completed her residency in internal medicine at the same faculty in 1991. Her interest in gastroenterology lead her to earn a subspecialty degree in gastroenterology in 1996. She pursued an academic career, becoming an associate professor in 2001, and a professor in 2007. She is currently working as a faculty member in the department of gastroenterology at Eskisehir Osmangazi University. Her current acedemic interest is the area of hepatocellular cancer. She has had many scientific papers and presentations in peer-reviewed international publicatıons.