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UNDERSTANDING HEPATITIS C

HepC

Knowing the facts about hepatitis C (Hep C) can help you better understand how it affects your liver—and may also help you make more informed decisions about your treatment options as you start working with a Hep C Specialist.

The good news is: Hep C can be cured.

Many people are surprised by a Hep C diagnosis. The good news is that recent scientific advances have made treatments for Hep C shorter and more effective, with fewer side effects than previously, and cure rates of around 95%.

Cure means the Hep C virus is not detected in the blood.  3 months after treatment is completed.

WHAT IS HEP C?

Hep C is a contagious liver disease that can lead to serious problems including cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) and liver cancer.

Hep C can either be acute or chronic:

  • Acute Hep C lasts a short time and occurs within the first 6 months of exposure to the Hep C virus. In some cases, the body can get rid of the virus on its own. If not, the infection will become chronic.
  • Chronic Hep C is serious and long lasting. For most people with Hep C (75%-85%), an acute infection becomes chronic.

There are 2 other types of hepatitis: A and B. Hepatitis A, B, and C all cause inflammation or swelling of the liver, but each is a different virus. There are vaccines for Hep A and B, but there is no vaccine for Hep C.

Chronic Hep C can cause:

  • A shorter lifespan:

    In 2007, Hep C patients died at a median age of 57. That’s 20 years shorter than the average US lifespan.

  • Serious liver disease (cirrhosis):

    A recent study projects that about 45% of untreated patients would develop cirrhosis by 2030. Cirrhosis can lead to liver cancer.

  • Cancer and transplants:

    Hep C is the leading cause of liver cancer and liver transplants.

For more information visit HepCHope.com

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