Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC, also called malignant hepatoma) is the most common type of liver cancer. Most cases of HCC are secondary to either a viral hepatitis infection or cirrhosis (alcoholism being the most common cause of hepatic cirrhosis). Compared to other cancers, HCC is quite a rare tumor in the United States. In countries where hepatitis is not endemic, most malignant cancers in the liver are not primary HCC but metastasis (spread) of cancer from elsewhere in the body, e.g.