In 1849, Carl von Rokitansky insisted that primary carcinoma of the liver was a common affection. He also separated primary from secondary lesions of the liver. Virchow warned that before a diagnosis of primary carcinoma of the liver could be made, a careful search of the eye, breast, and gastrointestinal tract should be made. In 1879, Kelsch and Kiener reviewed the literature and found only 1 case of primary liver carcinoma which they considered authentic, to which they added 2 of their own. In 1881 Sabourin added 4 more cases. Prior to Sabourin primary carcinoma of the liver was considered commoner than secondary cancers; hence, statistics gained from many early case reports and death certificates are invalid, because there was no histologic confirmation.
By 1901 Eggel found 163 cases, and in 1939 Charache's exhaustive search of the world literature produced 1,125 cases.1
A study of the primary carcinoma of
OHIN AJ. Primary Hepatic Cancer Among Africans and American NegroesA Comparative Study, with a Brief Review of the Literature on Carcinoma of the Liver. Arch Surg. 1961;83(5):667-673. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1961.01300170023006