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hepatoma (hepatocellular carcinoma) (hep-ă-toh-mă) n. a malignant tumour of the liver, originating in mature liver cells. In Western countries it often develops in patients with cirrhosis, particularly after hepatitis B or C infection. The term hepatoma is often, though incorrectly, used to include malignant tumours arising in the bile duct (see cholangiocarcinoma).