Hepatitis C is the inflammation of the liver caused by the Hepatitis C virus. Recent research has shown that the Hepatitis C virus can also affect the digestive system, the lymphatic system, the immune system and the brain.
25% of liver cancer is caused by the Hepatitis C virus.
Many Baby Boomers were infected in the ’70s and ’80s when infection control standards were not in place.
The Hep C virus wasn’t discovered until 1989. Donated blood was not screened for Hep C until 1992.
Hep C can be cured.
KNOW FOR SURE
If for any reason, you think you might be infected with the Hep C virus, you should go for a blood test as soon as possible.
Treatment for Hep C is highly effective at 95%.
Hep C can be cured in just 8 to 12 weeks.
Treatment reduces your cancer risk by 75%.
The sooner you get diagnosed and treated, the better your chance of recovery.
People who wait a long time to get diagnosed might have end stage liver disease by the time they do.
The Hep C Tests
If you tested positive for Hepatitis C, you will need to go for other tests.
You should also get your liver checked every six months. For people with cirrhosis, there is a continued risk of liver cancer even after Hep C virus infection is cured.
Be Hep C Free
There is no vaccine for Hepatitis C. However, you can still protect yourself from the Hepatitis C virus with your lifestyle choices.
If you are a health care or public safety worker, follow universal blood/body fluid precautions and safely handle needles and other sharp objects.
Consider the risks if you are thinking about tattooing, body piercing, or acupuncture – are the instruments properly sterilized?
If you’re having sex with more than one partner, use latex condoms correctly and every time to prevent the spread of Hep C.
Do not share personal care items that might have blood on them (e.g. razors, toothbrushes, nail clippers).
Hep C Treatment
Drug treatment to eradicate the Hepatitis C virus has advanced greatly in the last few years with cure rates at around 95%. With this, liver inflammation can be reduced and fibrosis may be reversed.
A high success rate
Shorter in duration in most cases
It’s a pill. Not an injection
Few or no side effects
TYPE OF MEDICATION
depends on the variation of Hep C you have, as well as any other existing conditions such as kidney problems.
are usually prescribed.
COURSE OF MEDICATION
may last 3 – 6 months