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I blame all my current existing complaints on the treatment process.
Dear Dr. Chung,
I'm 53 years of age, contracted Hep C in early to mid '70s, am 1a and completed 11 months of combination therapy with Rebetrol (not pegintron) one year ago this Feb (this month). My last 4 months of treatment we increased to 5 million units of interferon. Prior to treatment, I was in the best health ever, no symptoms at all, that I was aware of. Treatment was difficult, no depression that needed treatment, but just about every other side effect that you could think of: vastly increased cerenum production in and dripping from my ears, soars in my ears, skin reactions on my legs and shoulders, awful nasty attitudes, fatigue, aggravated hemorrhoids and some weight loss (20 lbs - I'm 5'10 was 173 lbs, down to 154 now at 162 to 165). At the time of cessation of treatment I felt 90% better each day. As the weeks passed my body seemed to expect the treatment process and my reactions came and went in lengthening cycles. Now it's one year since halting treatment, my skin has gotten better but won't clear up and it is still reacts to heat or rubbing (towels) with bordered irritated itchy, sometimes elevated soars, or rashes from soaps or perfumes and shaving. My energy level has mostly returned but my body seems to feel/be "frail" (maybe not a good choice of words, but I strain muscles easy, my hands ache, etc.) My ears have returned to normal but they are sensitive to dirt and irritation and tend to itch. I'm having an ultrasounds every 6 months and just had a liver and spleen scan to watch for any drastic changes and blood tests to watch for carcinoma or tumors. My Dr. says that things look pretty good. I have some noduling, and early cirrhosis, and my spleen is good. My viral load is about 6 million.
I blame all my current existing complaints on the treatment process. If that's valid, can I expect them to abate?
[Chung, Raymond T.,M.D.] yes you can.
I don't drink anymore and never drank heavy, I have always smoked pot, but have recently quite (does pot effect the progression of the Hep C or inhibit the treatment process?
[Chung, Raymond T.,M.D.] no data on this.
- without it I would not have survived treatment!).
My real questions are about what to expect and watch for over the next 5 years, 10 years, 20 years, 30 years (my Dad is 92!) I'm very against trying another interferon treatment. Can I wait for the next wave of more palatable treatment?
[Chung, Raymond T.,M.D.] I would strongly consider enrolling in the NIH sponsored HALT-C trial which will examine low dose PEGIFN vs. no treatment in pts with cirrhosis. you can contact the NIH website if interested.
[Chung, Raymond T.,M.D.] you may go many years before any trouble with the liver.
Do you have any suggestion of wholistics that might help, be prophylactic, or even a possible cure? I used Haelan (a Chinese fermented soy product) for a few months after treatment to help me rebound. Now I just eat well (I never eat bad) and don't take anything.
[Chung, Raymond T.,M.D.] I am not aware of any that clearly show benefit. clinical trials witll dictate what if any may have a role.
Thank you for your time, sorry I was a little lengthy, but I can't seem to get clear answers from anyone.
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