hep c question
Dec 22, 2012
My husband was diagnosed 7 years ago with Hep C. it was found on accident while in hospital for a rupture from diverticulitis.. He has recently been sick so we went for test and it is Hep C. We will see a specialist in a couple weeks but he is terrified this is a death sentence. He is a very light drinker maybe a glass or two of red wine a week? He is a bug smoker. nd is 50. Is this a death sentence?? And how long with treatment can he live with this?
Response from Dr. Taylor
Hepatitis C is not a death sentence for most people. Most people with chronic hepatitis C infection do not die of hepatitis C, but die of something else. Being infected with HIV also, hepatitis B also, or being a drinker of alcohol, can increase the progression of hepatitis C and increase the risks of getting sick or dying of hepatitis C.
That being said, the enemy of hepatitis C is TIME -- over time, scarring and damage in the liver can develop, and lead to illness and death in a proportion of people. So everyone with hepatitis C should be evaluated by a doctor over time, ideally at least once a year, although every 6 months is better.
C is for cure. Hepatitis C is curable with medications. I am glad to hear that your husband is seeing a specialist. He can discuss evolving treatments and the benefits to treatment now or at a later time. Cure of hepatitis C reduces the risk of getting sick from this infection.
Smoking is a risk factor for development of liver cancer. Smoking increases risk for many other health problems. The best thing your husband can do for his health is to quit smoking. Talk to your doctor about treatments to help him quit smoking.
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