Cancers rarely begin in the liver, but liver cancer is a common form of cancer that is nearly always fatal.
Before 1980, in the US, geographic variation in human liver cancer was hypothesized to be due to aflatoxin exposure. Between 1980 and 1990, the same variation was explained by the hypothesis that hepatitis B infection imparted a higher risk of liver cancer. In the 1990s, a newer understanding about these exposures supports the hypothesis that the interaction of aflatoxin and hepatitis B infection imparts the highest attributable risk for liver cancer.
This form of cancer is sigificant in Japan.