Hepatitis C and Liver Cancer

Today I received an email from a guy in the USA named Paul who I helped to get generic Harvoni from India more than a year ago. Paul was in a pretty bad way when he first contacted me but now is clear of HCV and really moving forward since he competed his generic Hepatitis C treatment.

In his email (copied below) Paul reminded me of the importance of not delaying Hepatitis C treatment, of not delaying the cure. It’s a subject I have been meaning to write about for a while now and so I’m using Paul’s email to kick me along.

One of the BIG issues in the Hep C world now days is that people delay starting their Hepatitis C treatment.
Folk think; “Oh I’ve had Hep C for 10 years, or 40 years, a few more years won’t make any difference.”
But they are wrong. The Hep C virus is quietly doing damage to the liver day in day out, 24 X 7. It creates little bits of scar tissue in the liver and as time goes by that scar increases and the correct functioning of the liver decreases.

As the Hep C affected liver begins to malfunction many minor health issues begin to appear. Most doctors will not initially associate these health problems with Hep C.

Once cirrhosis of the liver occurs there is approximately a 20% chance of developing liver cancer. This increases with alcohol abuse.However the biggest problem associated with Hep C is liver cancer.
Liver cancer is the thing that is most likely to kill a person with Hepatitis C.
Liver cancer is generally called Hepatocellular Carcinoma or HCC.
The chance of developing liver cancer increases as the amount of scar tissue in the liver increases
Cirrhosis can take 20 or more years to develop. During that time, your healthy liver cells are slowly replaced with scar tissue.
As these scars grow, your liver will try to heal itself by creating new cells. But as the scar tissue grows so does your chance of getting liver cancer.

Since nearly all patients with hepatocellular carcinoma have cirrhosis prior to developing hepatocellular carcinoma it is an established fact that cirrhosis of the liver leads to HCC.

So, to put this in a nutshell: the more damage the Hep C virus does the higher the risk of getting liver cancer.
Because I was told that there was a high change that I had liver cancer and also because I regularly get emails from people with Hep C who have liver cancer, I know how devastating getting that news is.

For this reason I am always pushing people to clear the Hep C virus out of their system as quickly as possible and get rid of the risk of developing liver cancer...

To read the rest of Greg’s blog and learn why people should not delay treatment, click here.