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What is the prognosis and life expectancy of hepatitis C patient?

course-of-illness-hep-c

Hepatitis C infographic from hcv.guidelinecentral.com

Hepatitis C is a very serious condition that not only affects the liver, but it is a powerful disease that can have other significant complications and problems within the body. Many people could be infected and living with it and not even know at first because the symptoms are initially mild. However, as Hepatitis C continues to grow and progress within the body it can lead to onset liver disease and cirrhosis. The important thing for anyone is to be able to understand not only what the disease is, but also how they can take precautions to protect against it.

Infection and Transmission

While there are always potential issues that could happen with respect to medical accidents, for the most part there are only two major reasons why anyone would come into contact with Hepatitis C. In the developed world there are issues with drug and needle sharing that could cause problems with respect to transfer of the disease itself. There are issues in the undeveloped world that could be a problem because of the lack of hospital controls and cleanliness or sanitary issues. In short, it is absolutely a blood problem and that is where you need to be aware. You cannot get Hepatitis C through casual contact, but through personal contact or contact of personal items you could see an infection.

Prognosis

The long term effects could be problems of the liver including liver failure and / or cirrhosis. There could also be drug treatments, but when you consider the fact that Hepatitis is not fully curable at this point there is little hope as of now that it will be. Consider the fact that it is also a virus, and there is no actual cureas of now that needs to be even considered because it is not feasible at this time. There are some trials and FDA approvals, but those are uncertain and unproven. Throw in the side effects which are common such as flu-like symptoms, hair loss, low blood count, fatigue, trouble thinking, nervousness, and even depression, and you can see why this is such a dangerous disease to live and cope with.

Prevention

While Hepatitis C is a very powerful disease, there are methods to avoid it. When you consider the main causes of infection and transmission can be protected against, the most important thing is simply being cautious. Not only are there a tremendous amount of screening and detection methods able to be performed so you know who is infected, but you will also want to go to extreme measures to ensure you are not putting yourself in harms way when it comes to risky behavior with infected people. When you also consider the potential of the disease being undetected early on, the consequences of risky behavior in general could still be problematic because you may not know who is infected and who isn’t.

Life Expectancy

Hepatitis C is not just a powerful disease, it is one that can take as many as fifteen years off of the back end of your life. This is assuming you don’t already have any other problems or conditions. When you think about the potential problems that can come about as additional complications, or the hardships you can face if you actually have other diseases or medical issues, and it can be a very powerful problem to try and deal with.

At the end of day, you need to continue to try and protect yourself from Hepatitis C. Even though you might be able to deal or cope with the disease, you do not want to risk it.

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