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Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C > What Is Hepatitis C?

How Does Hepatitis C Progress?

There are different stages of liver damage, and it can take years to go through each stage. Liver damage is not the same in every patient; everyone has their own journey.

Doctors measure the extent of liver damage by the amount of scarring, called fibrosis. If the scar tissue continues to build up, it can cause problems with liver function, leading to cirrhosis, which is severe scarring of the liver.

Your doctor may use noninvasive technologies such as an ultrasound to help determine the amount of fibrosis in your liver.

Your doctor may also do a liver biopsy.

A liver biopsy is a test that helps to determine what stage of disease your liver has reached.

  • In this procedure, a small sample of your liver is removed and looked at under a microscope
  • The sample is reviewed to see how much liver damage has taken place

Stages Of Liver Damage

What factors affect how chronic hepatitis C progresses?

How the disease progresses differs from person to person. You may have control over some factors that affect progression, but others may be out of your control. Things that can affect how fast chronic hepatitis C progresses in different people include:

  • Sex (male or female)
  • Age at time of infection
  • Weight
  • Having a weak immune system
  • Alcohol use
  • Race or ethnicity

Talk with your doctor about factors that you think may affect your progression.

How your disease progresses can be unpredictable. That is because your body is not the same as anyone else's body; you are unique.