Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is one of the most well recognised human carcinogens. Since its discovery about 40 years ago, HBV has been studied extensively. This article summarises the evidence derived from various studies including epidemiological, animal model, histopathology studies and molecular genetics studies leading to the establishment of HBV as the main aetiological agent for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The reduction in the incidence of childhood HCC due to mass hepatitis B vaccination in Taiwan is a dramatic demonstration of the critical aetiological role of hepatitis B in HCC. Thus it is essential for interventionalists to understand the epidemiological and pathogenesis of HCC to ensure optimal patient care
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