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My mom's treatment for Hepatitis C
Aug 5, 2002

Hey, my mom has Hepatitis C and she doesn't know if she wants to take the Hepatitis C treatment or not cause she is worried. She is 51 and she just learned of it last year and she got it through several blood transfusions prior to 1992. She heard that you lose hair and that there are many side effects, but you see the thing is that she hasn't taken the biopsy yet, and for that they stick a needle into your liver to get a piece so they can test it and see how far you are in the disease, so would you reccomend for her to do the biopsy since some people have died and not lived through it the way they wanted to? And what treatment do u prefer? And should it be combined or not? Thank You

Response from Dr. Dieterich

A liver biopsy is really important to determine the stage of disease. Particularly if someone is reluctant to take the therapy a biopsy is the one piece of information that can help make a decision easier. The side effects of Peg and ribavirin are well detailed all over this site, but the hair loss is not a major one, usually just a little thinning which reverses when you stop the drug, not like chemotherapy hair loss. The risk of a liver biopsy is really small. About 1 per 1000 require a transfusion and about 1 per 10,000 may have a fatal outcome. Driving is much more risky than a liver biopsy. Wish her luck! DTD

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