Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Doctors Question Wider Hepatitis C Screening Despite Cures

Doctors Question Wider Hepatitis C Screening Despite Cures

Doctors should resist the urge to screen a wider group of patients for hepatitis C, a group of physicians said today in the British Medical Journal, despite the introduction of new drugs that can cure the liver disease.

Expanded screening would flag the disease in people who are unlikely to die from it, leading to unnecessary treatment that may itself be harmful, said the group, including Kenneth Lin, an associate professor at Georgetown University School of Medicine.

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  1. How, exactly, does a physician determine who might die of Hep C--especially if the doctor does not even know if the patient has Hep C ??? That makes no sense. I had few side effects from my Hep C over the years but found that I had developed cirrhosis. I probably would not have died of it since I was already 79 when the cirrhosis was found--BUT now I know I won't die from Hep C because I treated and am SVR.
    Just had a bone density test even though I have never broken a bone. And I have mammograms . And the dreaded invasive colonoscopy Why NOT screen for Hep C ??? THEN decide when treatment is appropriate The longer one lives with Hep C, the more likely Hep C will affect their liver and general health. I, personally, think treatment for an infectious disease is appropriate at any stage. Whether one is dying from it or not, it does affect your health.

  2. I agree with you 100%, "unnecessary" treatment is a matter for the patient to decide. With screening strategies in place people are more opt to be tested for HCV, as you said there are very few symptoms early on. Only because I urged my doctor to test for HCV, did I go on to curing the virus. On biopsy I was stage 3, that was in 1999. I did not want to live with HCV at any stage of disease, who does? Treatment now is easier to tolerate, shorter treatment duration with high cure rates.
    Thank you for posting your comment