Okay, why have I used the word Hepatocellular?
- This cancer lives inside hepatocytes and…
- I went to school 19 years to learn these big words
Patients with Hepatitis C are at greater risk for liver cancer than the general population. Why? One theory is because people with cirrhotic (scarred) livers spend more time regenerating liver cells. The more cells you grow, the greater chance of a mutant cell, the source of cancer cells. Now, note that I said cirrhotic liver and not Hepatitis C liver. That’s because Hepatitis C cured early enough avoids liver scarring. No scar = no regeneration. The end. Sort of. For some reason, as yet unknown, patients with hepatitis C and B do get liver cancer even if they don’t have cirrhosis. But, according to the BMJ Group, in a meta-analysis based on Interferon/Ribavirin therapy; (never assume a meta analysis replaces research. It’s only someone looking at all the studies published.)
Antiviral therapy may halve risk of liver cancer after chronic hepatitis C infection
When I went to the research center for my 6 month post treatment follow-up, I was invited to participate in another study. You know how new drugs are coming out now? Well, long-term information about them is only in months. I am a long-term data bank. What’s gonna happen? Not much. I visit every six months and give some blood. Cracks me up how they describe it in teaspoons (9), like cough syrup or Indian spices. They monitor for the return of Hepatitis C and signs of liver cancer.
H-29397- GS-US-248-0122 A LONG TERM FOLLOW-UP REGISTRY FOR SUBJECTS WHO ACHIEVE A SUSTAINED VEROLOGIC RESPONSE TO TREATMENT IN GILEAD-SPONSORED TRIALS IN SUBJECTS WITH CHRONIC HEPATITIS C INFECTION. Purpose: to continue to review the response you had after participating in a Gilead-Sponsored HCV treatment study.
Who could resist that seductive title? Who would want to? Not me.
Hepatocellular carcinoma is cancer of the liver.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Hepatocellular carcinoma accounts for most liver cancers. This type of cancer occurs more often in men than women. It is usually seen in people age 50 or older. However, the age varies in different parts of the world.
The disease is more common in parts of Africa and Asia than in North or South America and Europe.
Hepatocellular carcinoma is not the same as metastatic liver cancer, which starts in another organ (such as the breast or colon) and spreads to the liver.
In most cases, the cause of liver cancer is usually scarring of the liver (cirrhosis). Cirrhosis may be caused by:
- Alcohol abuse (the most common cause in the United States)
- Autoimmune diseases of the liver
- Hepatitis B or C virus infection
- Inflammation of the liver that is long-term (chronic)
- Iron overload in the body (hemochromatosis)
Patients with hepatitis B or C are at risk for liver cancer, even if they have not developed cirrhosis
The usual outcome is poor, because only 10 – 20% of hepatocellular carcinomas can be removed completely using surgery.
If the cancer cannot be completely removed, the disease is usually fatal within 3 – 6 months. However, survival can vary, and occasionally people will survive much longer than 6 months
Just when I thought it safe to….