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Viral Hepatitis

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How can liver cancer be avoided?

for Veterans and the Public

How can liver cancer be avoided?

For patients with hepatitis C, if the treatments against the virus are pegylated interferon and ribavirin are successful in clearing the virus, the treatment can also actually reduce the risk of developing liver cancer. If the virus is cleared, that will reduce the chance of developing cirrhosis. For patients who already have cirrhosis, the treatment can sometimes reduce the risk that liver cancer will develop.

For patients who have cirrhosis resulting from hepatitis C or alcohol use, the risk of further damage to the liver can be reduced by avoiding alcohol.

Patients with advanced cirrhosis can be evaluated for a liver transplant before liver cancer develops.

Patients with hepatitis B and a high hepatitis B viral load can be treated with medications for hepatitis B. Reducing the hepatitis B viral load will reduce the chance of developing liver cancer.