People who are infected with hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C (HCV) virus may develop a chronic infection that can lead to cirrhosis. The damage that results increases the risk of liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma).
The risk of liver cancer may be as high as 200 times greater for people who have chronic HBV or HCV infection than for the general population.1
If you have chronic HBV infection:
If you have chronic HCV infection:
Screening with ultrasound of the liver, liver function tests, and blood tests (including alpha-fetoprotein [AFP]) every 6 to 12 months is recommended for people at risk of liver cancer.
- Malet PF (2008). Chronic hepatitis. In DC Dale, DD Federman, eds., ACP Medicine, section 4, chap. 8. Hamilton, ON: BC Decker.
- Baffis V, et al. (1999). Use of interferon for prevention of hepatocellular carcinoma in cirrhotic patients with hepatitis B or hepatitis C virus infection. Annals of Internal Medicine, 131(9): 696–701.
|Primary Medical Reviewer||Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine|
|Primary Medical Reviewer||Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||Steven L. Flamm, MD - Gastroenterology|
|Last Revised||November 11, 2010|
Last Revised: November 11, 2010
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