Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC, also called malignant hepatoma) is the most common type of liver cancer. Most cases of HCC are secondary to either a viral hepatitis infection or cirrhosis (alcoholism being the most common cause of hepatic cirrhosis).
In HCC number of factors are implicated as causative agents including consuption of mould toxins in food, and two viruses: Hepatitis B virus (HBV) and Hepatitis C virus (HCV).
HBV is the most significant agent. HBV DNA is integrated into genome, and in most cases the virus DNA has undergone rearrangements, including deletions.
When HBV genome is integrated into human chromosomes, possible out comes are as follows: activates oncognes; cayses chromosome instability and integration disrupts, which all leads to tumor cell.