Hepatitis C, also known as hep C, is more serious than most people think. However, there is good news: for many patients, hep C is curable.
What is hepatitis C?
Hepatitis C is a liver disease caused by virus in the blood called the hepatitis C virus (HCV). It causes inflammation of the liver, and it may lead to serious liver problems such as cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) and even liver cancer. Between 15% and 30% of people with chronic HCV infection will develop cirrhosis within 20 years.
What does my liver do?
- helps produce proteins and clotting factors for your blood
- helps to keep hormones, sugar, and cholesterol balanced
- breaks down medications and toxic chemicals
Your doctor can do a simple blood test to see if you've been exposed to HCV. If you test positive for exposure to the virus, your doctor will need to perform more tests to confirm your diagnosis and learn more about your condition.