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How healthy is your liver? – THE IC3 TRIAL: Identifying Cirrhosis and liver Cancer in primary Care

In Australia liver cancer is the 12th most diagnosed cancer (7th globally) and the 7th most common cause of death (3rd globally). Five-year survival rates are 21%. What’s more important is that 60% of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients are not under any surveillance programs. Since HCC usually grows slowly in its early stages, it can often be effectively managed if discovered early and even cured. Unfortunately, Australia does not have a national screening program for early diagnosis of liver disease. We know there are some risk factors that predispose people to liver disease such as viral hepatitis, alcohol, obesity and diabetes. Undiagnosed liver disease can lead to liver scarring, (commonly referred to as cirrhosis), which is the main risk factor for liver cancer. Predictions are that, without a national screening program, this form of treatable cancer could be within the top 5 Australian cancers by the end of the decade.

To support early detection, Kardinia Health is currently participating in an Australia-wide, multicentre Randomised Controlled Trial in adults with risk factors for chronic liver disease. This trial, Identifying Cirrhosis and liver Cancer in primary Care (IC3), will test the effectiveness of an early detection program in general practice, led by the University of Melbourne. The research group has designed a comprehensive liver screening program to help identify cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma in primary care. This randomised controlled trial aims to test the effectiveness, feasibility, and acceptability of the screening program. To learn more about the trial, please visit

If the research team contacts you, please consider being involved. Read the information provided, ask questions about the study and you can make an informed decision about volunteering to participate. Your involvement could lead to improved patient outcomes such as;