Division of Liver Diseases, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, One Gustave L. Levy Place, Box 1104, New York, NY 10029, USA. Electronic address: Priya.Grewal@mountsinai.org.
Annually, hepatocellular carcinoma is diagnosed in approximately a half-million people worldwide. Based on the association of alcohol with cancer, a International Agency for Research on Cancer working group recently deemed alcoholic beverages "carcinogenic to humans," causally related to occurrence of malignant tumors of the oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, liver, colorectum, and female breast. Alcohol metabolism in the liver leads to reactive oxygen species production, induction of activity of cytochrome P450s, and reduction of antioxidants. This review analyzes the epidemiology and pathogenesis of alcohol in hepatocellular cancer.