The number of people diagnosed has risen by 60 percent in 10 years and the number of patients dying has increased by 80 percent. And deaths from the most common form of liver cancer have tripled in the past 20 years, research reveals. Experts said the dramatic rise is down to more people drinking alcohol to excess and a growth in obesity levels. Pamela Healy, from the British Liver Trust, said: "By 2035, the incidence [of liver cancer] is set to rise by 38 per cent, the equivalent of 11,000 people a year, as more drink to excess and get obese."
About half of liver cancer cases are deemed to be preventable, with almost a quarter linked to being overweight.
There were 5,700 deaths from liver cancer in the UK in 2017, figures from Cancer Research showed. This was the highest number of deaths in a year and up from 3,200 in 2007.
Cancer Research's liver cancer expert, Professor Helen Reeves of Newcastle University, said: "Unfortunately, progress in treating liver cancer has been painfully slow. We desperately need more options for patients. Another problem is a rise in the number of people being diagnosed, which has meant we are losing more people to this disease than ever before.
"Rising levels of obesity and associated conditions like diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease have likely played a big role in this, although they are not the only factors."
Separate research, which will be presented at the National Cancer Research Institute Conference on Monday, found cases of the most common form of the disease have tripled in England since 1997.
Dr Anya Burton, from Public Health England, said: "The incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma [HCC] in England is increasing rapidly. Our findings highlight the urgent need to address prevention strategies for both liver disease and for HCC."
Mark Thornberry was diagnosed with stage three liver cancer caused by Hepatitis C