Take this list of questions when you visit your physician
Hepatitis C, a viral disease that can lead to diminished liver function or liver failure, affects between 2.7 million to 3.2 million Americans, especially baby boomers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For African Americans, chronic liver disease, often hepatitis C-related, is a leading cause of death for people between the ages of 45 and 64.
These numbers are the reason health-care professionals recommend that baby boomers get tested for the disease. If you find out you have hepatitis C, prepare the following questions to discuss with your physician:
How much hepatitis C virus do I have in my body?
What is my genotype?
Has the virus damaged my liver?
With treatment, can I be cured of the hepatitis C virus?
What treatment options are available?
What are the benefits and risks of each option?
Do I have any conditions that affect my options?
Which option do you think is best for me and why?
How long will treatment last?
What side effects will I have? Are the side effects different between the treatment options?
Will my past medical history have any impact on how I will react to the different treatments (be prepared to tell your doctor of all the medical conditions that you have had or currently have, including any allergic reactions)?
How will treatment affect my daily life?
Will treatment affect my ability to work?
What will the treatment cost and will my insurance cover it?
What else can I do to keep healthy and minimize damage to my liver?
What is the next step?