Stage 4 hep c prognosis
Feb 13, 2014
I've had type c hep for 20 years . I do see a hepatolagist but still don't feel like I have enough information to know if having stage 4 with sorosis and long term life expectancy is. They do ultra sounds and ct scans periodically. What should I be asking my Dr. and maybe you can shed some light on this for me. Should I have a liver biopsy?
Response from Dr. Taylor
It sounds as though you have stage 4 scarring of the liver due to hep C, called cirrhosis. Your ultrasounds and CT scans are likely being done to screen for liver cancer. It is good to hear that you are in such good care. Ideally we screen people with cirrhosis every 6 months with abdominal (belly) ultrasound, because finding a tiny cancer earlier rather than later can provide opportunity for more curative treatment. Ways to decrease the chance of getting liver cancer include being cured of hep C (so talk with your doctor about the new hep C meds), not using alcohol, not using tobacco, and getting care for HIV and/or hep B if we also have these infections.
I would ask your doctor about some of the scoring systems for cirrhosis that provide estimates of life expectancy. For example doctors can calculate your Child-Pugh-Turcotte score based on 3 blood tests and 2 clinical assessments (judgments doctors can make based on your physical exam and medical history). The score can be followed over time and can help us estimate life expectancy. There is variability between people with the same score depending on other health issues. All best to you.
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