Hepatitis C: Post Treatment Issues Community
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475555 tn?1469307939

New study relates alcohol to HCC in SVR patients

Some of you may already have seen this study, but as I just found it in PubMed I thought I would post the link here in the forum:
Alcohol intake increases the risk of HCC in hepatitis C virus-related compensated cirrhosis: A prospective study.


3 Responses
6708370 tn?1471493810

well, there ya go. No drinking for us again Ever!

Thanks for sharing the study Mike
317787 tn?1473362051
Thanks Mike! I never drank after my diagnosis in 2007 but every once in a while I think, I would love a kahula and cream, LOL
Not any more...
Thank you, Dee
I think you might post this on the cirrhosis page? I have some questions regarding the study. Why were there so many who relapsed on treatment? Numbers don't look as good as one would expect these days. Do you think that people who go back to drinking have other problems that would kill them? What is the connection between drinking and cancer? Specifically, liver cancer? I am tested every 6 months for liver cancer but I don't know why alcohol would seem to cause cancer? Is it just the further damage caused to the liver?
Those are all good questions, but I'm afraid I haven't got the answers. I'd like to know them myself. I guess the alcohol irritates the liver in all people who drink, and those who have had hep-c are less able to shake it off. Maybe you could send an enquiry email to the people who did the study. There's usually an email address on them. If you find out anything further, let me know.
hepcandme  You asked, "Why were there so many who relapsed on treatment?" I do not see any mention of relapse, or alcohol consumption leading to relapse. I think they were studying people with HCV-related cirrhosis who had or had not achieved viral eradication; nothing about how alcohol affected viral eradication. Clearly, people who had eradicated HCV  had a lesser incidence of cancer whether they consumed alcohol or not, with those not consuming it being the best at 0%. "The risk of hepatocellular carcinoma increased with alcohol intake or in patients without viral eradication and was highest when alcohol intake was present in the absence of viral eradication."

Your other question, "What is the connection between drinking and cancer? Specifically, liver cancer?" Regardless of what caused cirrhosis, cirrhosis just tends to raise the risk of liver cancer. Alcohol and HCV are known causes of cirrhosis, and therefore it makes sense that continued abuse of the liver from alcohol or of HCV would increase the chances of acceleration to cancer.
That's just how I interpreted the study. I don't think it was very clear.
317787 tn?1473362051
From what I remember Hector saying, he said that people with HCV and cirrhosis, once cured, needed to be followed for at least 8 years because they were more likely to be diagnosed with cancer of the liver.

Also people with HCV and cirrhosis are the hardest to treat.
When I treated with Incivek my doctor said it might not work because I had been dx with cirrhosis.  

I feel lucky that he let me try.  Some people were not allowed to use it because they had cirrhosis with varices, fluid retention, etc..  

I would think if you take a bad liver, add alcohol, it would have to be a worse outcome.  Everyone is different.  I had a friend who drank for the 30 years that he had HCV and he had little damage to his liver.  The doctor could not believe it, tested him twice for HCV.
Hi Dee1956, I too was on the "cusp" of cirrhosis, but was allowed into a clinical study as I did not have  varices, fluid retention, etc. I also felt very blessed to be allowed in the nick of time. However, that being said, I believe the cirrhotic state of my liver did make my 6 mos of tx absolute hell from which I have never really recovered. I was also lucky to only need the interferon/riba tx.

I too had probably had HCV for thirty years w/o very little damage, and at that time (2003) I was rather advised not to have tx. Nine years later it had advanced to the cirrhosis stage at which time I did have the tx. I wish I had it earlier as I don't think it would have been as hard on me. I don't know if there is a correlation to having tx with cirrhosis that does make it harder, and to have life long side effects.

Regardless, the bottom line is that I am glad I was able to eradicate it even though I have days that I'm not sure life is worth living with never being able to work again, having muscle and bone pain, cognitive issues, vision problems, sleep disorder, etc. Not being able to live life as I once did certainly lead to depression as well. I try to count my blessings that I am still alive. W/o tx I am sure I would be dead by now.
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