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Avatar universal

Can it happen so quickly

Found out in November that I have hepc. Got tested as PCP noticed that Alt was elevated to 98. Turns out that it has been somewhat elevated off and on for about a year. Got hold of my medical records and noticed that elevations started about 5 years ago. Went from 30s to low 50s and remained that way until about a year ago so doc thought it was normal for my age. AST has always been low, recently rising to low 50s.  
I am a 65 year old male gen 2B VL 800,000.
My only exposure that I can think of was only 11 years ago with a needle stick. Doc says that that could be it. Just wondering as most of what I have read indicates that it doesn't show in elevated enzymes for 20 to 30 years. I have read that the older you are when you get it the faster it moves. I also have some aches / pains, and am sometimes fatigued, but most folks my age feel the same.
Doc wants me to start treatment in March. He says biopsy is not necessary as all blood tests and ultrasound look OK
Thanks for any info offered
16 Responses
151263 tn?1243377877
Real sorry to hear about your diagnosis. The good news is, is that you have a "desirable" genotype (2b). The current treatment effectiveness is nearly twice that for type 2's as it is for type 1's. Plus the standard treatment course if half that for type 2's when compared to type 1's (24 weeks vs 48 wks respectively). Also, you have a relatively low starting viral load, which is one predictor that increases odds of success for those undergoing treatment.

There will be others along soon to provide more advice. In the meantime hang in there, you can get through this.
Avatar universal
My enzymes started to creep up after six years.I happen to have some old results which show it,although I wasn't diagnosed until long after that.
The rest of the info you state is correct,it does tend to move faster in older people,and people who become infected at an older age.The other bit of critical info is your geno-type.The doctor should have tested for this.
Your chances of eradicating the virus are closely linked to the geno-type, so check it out.
Very best of luck to you when you start treatment!
Avatar universal
Sorry,you did state geno-type and previous posters observations are correct.
Avatar universal
I am Geno type 2a and relapsed after 24 weeks. Now gotta go for 48. should have done 48 the first time.
Avatar universal
At 65 yrs old I would stay away from the treatment they are offering today, it will probably wreck more havoc with your health and well being than the hepC will in the next 10 yrs.
I treated for 11 months and am now 6 mo. post svr. I turned 46 when I was on treatment and had HCV for 25 years.  Peace
Avatar universal
At your age I would biopsy first. If low damage, treat only if you feel physically up for it which will depend a lot on your general health. Treatment can be difficult. If stage 3 or 4, probably a good idea to treat right away.

All the best,

-- Jim
Avatar universal
I am worried about treating at my age. The gastro doc does not seem concerned, and said that they will watch me closely. He also said that they are having good results on type 2s with 12 to 18 week treatment if you are svr by week 4.
Avatar universal
It is worrisome business, no wonder you are concerned. One suggestion I would have would be that you could give it a go, test at week 4 and if you are clear of the virus by then your chances to clear with a shorter course are improved. If not clear at week 4 you could decide if treating is somethhing you can handle for a longer period of time.Are you having symptoms? How do you feel?

I agree with others who suggext you get a biopsy so you know what, if any,level of liver damage you have now but unfortunately biopsy is often not recommended for your genotype(and mine) so that might not be an option. Did the doctor discuss it with you?

Every person handles treatment differently, this place will attract those having the most difficult time and the people that are handling it OK with limited side effects are out living their lives not searching for answers to their side effects on the internet, so keep that in mind. It is scary business to have to use these drugs but the consequences of what the virus can do to you are even scarier to me.
Avatar universal
I would recommend if it's possible to get a biopsy even if you are a 2.  If it's possible at least you know then how much liver damage has been done and if you have to treat due to damage or not.

As so many 2s/3s are relapsing, lately it appears that doctors are going to start taking a new approach with their treatment. That would mean the standard care would be more like a 1.

You can have gotten HCV from many many ways - but the needlestick sounds like a good start.

It doens't matter HOW you got it as longg as you know you have it you can take care of yourself.

It's no fun doing treatment but it IS doable.
Avatar universal
if your liver is ok why tx now? do you have any bad sides?
Avatar universal
Thanks for all your inputs. The only sx I am having are:
Some fatigue, joint aches / pains in various places, but not all the time. I am also irritable and sometimes have trouble concentrating, but this may be due to knowing I have hcv. Before my diagnosis I just thought I was dealing with getting old as all my friends have the same complaints and they all can't have hcv. Since I have found out it has been on my mind most of the time. How do people who have known for years learn to deal with it?
I am leaning towards going forward with tx and seeing what it looks like at 4 weeks. I will ask my doc about byopsy, and also about fibrotest or fibroscan. I don't see the doc again until mid January, so I hope to learn lots more by then.
Avatar universal
As a fellow 2b I'd also like to treat for 18 weeks. But the sad truth is that many geno 2b in this forum have relapsed. Is this a biased sample?. Maybe. Should I go for 48? don't know/my docs say no.
But so far I'm waiting for my 2 week PCR and tomorrow I go for the infamous 4 week PCR.
I'm 44yo,high VL, male & overweight and on my 5th week of TX and I have had sx such dry eyes, fatigue, dry skin and sinuses, headaches & nausea that I have controlled with Ibuprofen, eye drops in gel, saline solution and some medical MJ.
This week I have started to feel worse than usual.
To tell you the truth, TX is doable but my doc told me if I were over 60 he would not have recommended it. Maybe because he does not have HCV. Is easy to give statements like that when your life is not on the line. But the truth is that current TX can be harsh on the body.
Maybe you could just give it a try for 4 weeks and see how it goes...
suerte
scuba
Avatar universal
TO TELL YOU THE TRUTH I JUST PUT IT ASIDE AND WENT ON WITH MY LIFE. I HAD IT FOR 37 YEARS NOW AND I GAVE IT VERY LITTLE THOUGHT. IN THE 9 YEARS I WAITED  TX GOT MUCH  MUCH BETTER AND I SUSPECT IN THE NEXT COUPLE YEARS IT WILL JUMP EXPONENTIALY. IF IT IS CAUSING YOU SO MUCH ANXIETY MAYBE YOU SHOULD GO FOR IT NOW. BUT, BUT THE FEAR IS SELF IMPOSED AND SHOULD BE BASED ON HARD MEDICAL DATA NOT JUST FEAR. YOUR CALL BUT UNDERSTAND TX MAY BE A REAL BUGGER.
BOBBY
Avatar universal
TO TELL YOU THE TRUTH I JUST PUT IT ASIDE AND WENT ON WITH MY LIFE. I HAD IT FOR 37 YEARS NOW AND I GAVE IT VERY LITTLE THOUGHT. IN THE 9 YEARS I WAITED  TX GOT MUCH  MUCH BETTER AND I SUSPECT IN THE NEXT COUPLE YEARS IT WILL JUMP EXPONENTIALY. IF IT IS CAUSING YOU SO MUCH ANXIETY MAYBE YOU SHOULD GO FOR IT NOW. BUT, BUT THE FEAR IS SELF IMPOSED AND SHOULD BE BASED ON HARD MEDICAL DATA NOT JUST FEAR. YOUR CALL BUT UNDERSTAND TX MAY BE A REAL BUGGER.
BOBBY
Avatar universal
TO TELL YOU THE TRUTH I JUST PUT IT ASIDE AND WENT ON WITH MY LIFE. I HAD IT FOR 37 YEARS NOW AND I GAVE IT VERY LITTLE THOUGHT. IN THE 9 YEARS I WAITED  TX GOT MUCH  MUCH BETTER AND I SUSPECT IN THE NEXT COUPLE YEARS IT WILL JUMP EXPONENTIALY. IF IT IS CAUSING YOU SO MUCH ANXIETY MAYBE YOU SHOULD GO FOR IT NOW. BUT, BUT THE FEAR IS SELF IMPOSED AND SHOULD BE BASED ON HARD MEDICAL DATA NOT JUST FEAR. YOUR CALL BUT UNDERSTAND TX MAY BE A REAL BUGGER.
BOBBY
Avatar universal
Hey Bobby you put it aside and didnt treat for years but you also had liver damage progress to the stage 3 level which is the last level before cirrhosis.

Anyone deciding to wait should consider ALL the possible health problems that can result from that decision.

HEP C is not "jut a liver disease" it is an immune system disease and a blood disease.
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