A case of 20-year-old, who developed an end-stage liver cancer, has triggered doctors from Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital to create awareness on hepatitis among the people.
Last week, Mangesh (name changed) came to the city hospital with complaint of swelling of legs, jaundice and swelling of belly. After undergoing some tests, he was diagnosed with hepatitis B.
Post diagnosis, his family were tested for hepatitis B, surprisingly, all were found to be harboring the virus. Doctors said, it is not just Mangesh, but his entire family had been tested positive in screening for hepatitis B.
For Mangesh, the virus has become so lethal that doctors have predicted that life is just a matter of few days for him. Mangesh, who hails from Satara, had hepatitis B vertically transmitted from his mother.
Doctors said the lack of awareness could not lead to early detection of hepatitis in his case. They added that the last option of liver transplant will also not be of any help in his case as the tumor is more than eight centimeters and it would not be possible for him to undergo liver transplant.
Now, the Hepatology, Liver Transplant and Gastro Team of Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital have decided to make continuous efforts to create awareness on hepatitis A, B, C, D and E.
Dr Sachin Palnitkar, Consultant Hepatologist from Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital, said, “We came across many such cases like Mangesh’s case, where only because of delayed diagnosis and lack of awareness, the virus has become life threatening for the patient. Had his parents been vaccinated, their children could have been saved.” Doctors informed that Mangesh’s mother, father and brother have now started taking treatment for the virus.
“You do not know, that does not mean you do not have the virus in your body. We do not know who inherited the virus for the first time in his family and from where they inherited it. The best way is to get vaccinated.” He added.
In its first of such programme, the doctors of Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital have organized different events on world hepatitis day on July 28. Different events such as a walkathon, free screening, vaccination and quiz on hepatitis would be organized in the next week in the hospital.
Viral hepatitis has been recognized as a serious public health problem in India by the World Health Organisation (WHO) with over 50 million people infected with chronic hepatitis in the country.
Hepatitis B has infected the highest number of people followed by hepatitis C. Besides, hepatitis E virus (HEV) is the most important cause of epidemic hepatitis, where most acute liver failures diagnosjaundiceed are attributable to HEV.
Inflammation of liver is usually referred as hepatitis. “In some cases, because of lack of awareness about vaccination and treatment, hepatitis can be life threatening when it progresses to liver fibrosis, cirrhosis or liver cancer,” added Palnitkar.
“Last week, one more case had come to me where, family had abandoned daughter-in-law when she was diagnosed with hepatitis C. The family thought that hepatitis C is like HIV. There is very less awareness about hepatitis in our society,” he added.
Dr Ninad Deshmukh, Liver Transplant Surgeon from Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital, said, “A staggering 95% of people infected with chronic hepatitis do not know they are infected. It is a lethal virus that stays in the body for quite a long time and one might not see symptoms for years.”