Two leading researchers have warned that many people who achieved sustained virologic response after anti-viral treatment should continue to be screened for liver cancer.
Roberta D’Ambrosio of the Migliavacca Center for Liver Disease in Italy and the Department of Pathology at Beaujon Hospital in France, and Massimo Colombo of the Migliavacca center, recommended the testing in this month’s Liver International journal. They advised hepatologists to continue the screening, particularly among patients who had decompensated chirrosis (the most advanced stage of liver disease) before their treatment.
SVR does not automatically reverse the ravages of hep. The researchers said some patients’ livers may have reached a point of no-return before they cleared hep C. Even when a patient’s liver seems to have regressed, not all measures of regression may be accurate, they suggested.
European guidelines recommend that anyone who achieves SVR after having decompensated cirrhosis get a liver ultrasound twice a year thereafter. Those who may have had less cirrhosis but abuse alcohol or suffer from diabetes or other risks should do so too, the guidelines state.
If your gastroenterologist isn’t doing this and you believe you’re at risk, maybe you should ask about getting an ultrasound.