Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), or hepatoma, is a very rare childhood liver cancer in which cancer cells develop in the tissues of the liver and form a tumor.
The liver is one of the largest organs in the body. It is in the upper right-hand side of the abdomen under the ribs. The liver has many functions. For instance, it plays an important role in turning food into energy; it also filters and stores blood.
HCC is one of two types of primary liver cancer. Hepatoblastoma is the other type of primary liver cancer; metastatic liver tumors are those that start elsewhere and spread to the liver.
HCC is found in children from birth to 19 years of age. Children with metabolic liver disease that causes liver scarring (such as tyrosinemia and alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency) and those infected with hepatitis B or C (viral infections of the liver that cause inflammation) are more likely than other children to get HCC.