Being diagnosed may be upsetting at first and difficult to accept, but most people with hepatitis B or C will lead a long and healthy life.
- Your liver condition will need monitoring by a specialist, who will take blood tests every 3-6 months. You will also need an ‘Ultrasound’ or jelly scan to assess the condition of your liver
- In rare cases, a sample of the liver, taken through a needle passed through the skin, is needed to assess the extent of liver damage. This is called a ‘biopsy’.
- Not everyone will need treatment. It depends on how active the virus is and how much damage it is doing to the liver. If treatment is required, safe and effective medications are available
- For hepatitis B, treatment (pills) will not get rid of the virus, but is able to keep the virus under control. Drugs need to be taken life-long, but by taking them those infected can lead a normal life.
- Hepatitis is generally considered a curable disease. Treatment (pills and injections) can get rid of the virus completely and life-long medication is not required.
- If your hepatitis goes undiagnosed for a long period, of time, liver damage happens very slowly and there are no warning signs until the liver is heavily scarred from the inflammation. This scarring is called ‘cirrhosis’. At this stage the liver can start to fail and with so much scarring of the liver tissue there is a risk of cancer developing.
- Liver damage and cancer can be avoided! Getting diagnosed is the hardest bit. Once the diagnosis is made, close monitoring can avoid the complications of Hepatitis B and C.
If you are worried about Hepatitis, you can order a postal fingerpick test for Hepatitis B and C using our postal testing service, TakeATestUK.