Massage & Bodywork

MARCH | APRIL 2015

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education Hepatitis C When Going Viral is a Bad Thing By Ruth Werner Cameron is a part-time carpenter and musician living in a rural community. Now in his mid-60s, the hepatitis C he probably picked up during his time in Vietnam is seriously impacting his life. The decades he spent as a musician—and indulging in the behaviors that were part of that culture—have also contributed to his condition. PATHOLOGY PERSPECTIVES Cameron's situation is a textbook example of someone diagnosed with hepatitis C: an undetermined date of infection followed by years of slowly progressive liver damage, until one day the liver can't compensate any more, and scarring, cirrhosis, or other serious changes can set in. Hepatitis C is sometimes called a silent epidemic. It affects more than 4 million Americans, but for the majority of them, it is hidden until the liver cannot take any more challenges, and then the symptoms and complications come on with a vengeance. The good news is that new treatment options have emerged, and they appear to actually cure hepatitis C for many patients. Cameron may be one of them—he was recently evaluated to take part in this new protocol. HEPATITIS C: THE PROBLEM Our understanding of viral attacks on the liver began with the identifi cation of the hepatitis A and B viruses. It wasn't long before scientists became aware that another virus was capable of attacking the liver. For decades, it was labeled "hepatitis non-A, non-B," until it was isolated and labeled hepatitis C in 1990. This discovery was followed with the identifi cation of hepatitis viruses D, E, F, and G. In the United States more "It can get to where I can only work three or four hours a day. My desire to do things—to go fi shing, to play music—are gone. Some days, nothing matters. It impacts my home, my relationships. I feel totally worthless." "I feel like hepatitis C has taken more than my energy. It's taken my personality—my whole psyche. I hope I can get some of that back." play music—are gone. Some days, nothing matters. It impacts my home, my relationships. I feel totally worthless." "I feel like hepatitis C has taken more than my energy. It's taken my personality—my whole psyche. I hope I can get some of that back."

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