July 17 (UPI) -- Although the mortality rate for all cancers combined has declined over 25 years, death rates from liver cancer increased 43 percent for U.S. adults from 2000 to 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The age-adjusted liver cancer death rate for U.S. adults 25 and older increased from 7.2 per 100,000 people in 2000 to 10.3 in 2016, the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics reported.
Each year about 22,000 men and 9,000 women get liver cancer, according to the CDC. The disease rose from the ninth-leading cause of cancer-related death to the sixth-leading cause between 2000 and 2016, according to data from the National Vital Statistics System.
The five-year survival rate among people with localized liver cancer is about 31 percent and it's 11 percent if the cancer has grown into nearby organs or has spread to nearby lymph nodes, according to the American Cancer Society.
The death rate for men was higher. It was 10.5 per 100,000 for men -- which is a 43 percent increase from 2000 -- and 6.3 for women with a 40 percent rise, the CDC report said.
Death rates increased for non-Hispanic whites at 48 percent, black adults at 43 percent and Hispanic adults at 27 percent but decreased for Asians or Pacific Islanders at 22 percent.
Death rates were highest in the District of Columbia at 16.8 percent 100,000. The four states with the highest rates were Louisiana at 13.8, Hawaii at 12.7, and Mississippi and New Mexico -- each at 12.4.
The five states with the lowest rates were Vermont at 6.0, Maine at 7.4 Montana at 7.7, and Utah and Nebraska (7.8 each).
Report author Dr. Jiaquan Xu said the 10-year survival rate didn't change much but noted more people are developing liver cancer.
Risk factors include obesity, smoking, excess alcohol consumption, and hepatitis B and C infection.
"I think the main reason for the increase in liver cancer incidence and death rate in the U.S. is the increase in the prevalence of excess body weight and hepatitis C virus infection in baby boomers," Dr. Farhad Islami, the scientific director of cancer surveillance research at the American Cancer Society, told CNN.
He said more than 70 percent of liver cancers are caused by underlying liver disease.