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Hepatoblastoma and Hepatocellular Carcinoma

The liver is an organ located in the upper right side of the abdomen, protected by the rib cage. The liver is a large, very important organ. The normal functions of the liver in the body are:
  • To help store nutrients from food
  • To break down and remove harmful chemicals from the body
  • To build chemicals that the body needs to stay healthy
When liver cells grow without the usual control, liver cancer may develop. The two most common types of liver cancers in children are:
  • Hepatoblastoma occurs most frequently in infants or very young children between the ages of 2 months and 3 years. This is the most common kind of cancer of the liver in children.
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) occurs most frequently in children between the ages of 10 and 16 years.
Together hepatoblastoma and HCC account for about 1-2% of cancers in children.

It is unclear exactly how hepatoblastoma develops, but it is believed to develop when mistakes (mutations) occur during the growth of liver cells. These cells grow without the usual regulation of normal liver cells, leading to a tumor. Hepatocellular carcinoma is increased in areas of the world that have a high incidence of hepatitis. Infection with any one of several viruses that cause hepatitis is believed to be responsible.

Last updated July, 2011

Newly Diagnosed with Hepatoblastoma or Hepatocellular Carcinoma
In Treatment for Hepatoblastoma or Hepatocellular Carcinoma
After Treatment for Hepatoblastoma or Hepatocellular Carcinoma

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