The study also found that liver cancer is one of the top three causes of cancer deaths in 46 countries – and is in the top five in nearly 100 countries.
Cases and deaths were highest in East and Southeast Asia as well as North Africa.
“Liver cancer causes a huge burden of disease globally each year,” said study co-author Isabelle Soerjomataram.
“It is also largely preventable if control efforts are prioritised – major risk factors include hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus, alcohol consumption, excess body weight, and metabolic conditions including type 2 diabetes,” she said in a statement.
The grim 2040 prediction illustrates the need for progress against hepatitis B and C after being disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the researchers said, urging more vaccination, testing and treatment.
Rumgay also called for “measures to reduce population alcohol consumption and curb the rise in the prevalence of diabetes and obesity”.
Another IARC study recently suggested that 17 per cent of liver cancer cases can be avoided by reducing alcohol consumption.
The team based their analysis on the IARC’s GLOBOCAN 2020 database, which has incidence and death estimates for 36 types of cancer across 185 countries.
The analysis was published in the Journal of Hepatology.