Winning the Hepatitis C Battle.
Topeka, KS (PRWEB) October 31, 2003
Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius has declared Nov. 3, 2003 as National Hepatitis C Day in an effort to educate people about the disease that affects more than 400 million people worldwide and 4 million in the U.S. 10,000 people die of hepatitis C every year in the U.S., and this figure is expected to increase to around 25,000 by the year 2020.
Governor Sebelius presented the proclamation to Dr. Shekhar Challa, Topeka, coinciding with the timely launch of his book and CD-ROM titled "Winning the Hepatitis C Battle."
ÂI urge all citizens to make everyone aware of the importance of preventing this disease so that we might begin to reduce the devastating impact it has on our population," said Governor Sebelius.
ÂWinning the Hepatitis C BattleÂ outlines the most current medical information on the virus, reaching out through personal patient stories to touch the millions devastated by hepatitis C. The book and CD-ROM walks the reader through each step of the hepatitis C process Â from learning about the liver where hep C strikes to understanding treatment options and the sometimes debilitating side effects.
"Winning the Hepatitis C Battle" has also been awarded as a finalist for the 2003 Reader's Preference Editor's Choice Award in the health category.
Author Shekhar Challa, M.D., sees firsthand the need for both more public education and encouragement of those with risk factors to get tested. "The lack of information can be deadly," said Challa. "The number of hepatitis C deaths is expected to triple within the next 10 years."
In the book and companion CD-ROM, ÂWinning the Hepatitis C Battle,Â Challa offers educational information to help people protect themselves from this disease, and he reaches out to those already suffering its devastating impact.
To win the hepatitis C battle, patients need courage and determination to undertake a usually year-long treatment process with often debilitating side effects.
Long called Âthe silent epidemic,Â hepatitis C victims have few symptoms until theyÂve had the disease for 20 to 25 years. But ÂsilentÂ also applies to the amount of attention this virulent disease has received. Although it hits the news when celebrities like Naomi Judd, Pamela Anderson and Larry Hagman announce they have hepatitis C, many people are unfamiliar with it Â how it is spread, how it is diagnosed, how it is treated.
Four million Americans are infected with hepatitis C and at least 25,000 new cases are diagnosed every year. WhatÂs unique about this disease is the rapid pace at which researchers have developed treatments.
In the 14 years since the virus was identified, new drugs have brought hope to those suffering from hepatitis C. Now, with a combination treatment of two drugs, there is a 50 percent response to the treatment. Just 10 years ago, there was only a single-digit treatment response.
ÂItÂs tough how your friends and family react to you,Â says Denise, a hepatitis C patient who has a sustained virological response or Âcure.Â ÂThereÂs lots of misinformation out there about hepatitis C. Even medical people donÂt understand it and know that there is a way to be cured. You have to educate people about this disease.Â
Winning the Hepatitis C Battle is now available for purchase. The book is accompanied by a CD-ROM that is also an educational resource for hepatitis C patients and contains special information for the family and friends of those going through the hepatitis C treatment. For more information on hepatitis C or to purchase the book/CD-ROM, visit http://www.hepcbattle.com or call toll-free 866-746-1448.
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New Book Reaches Millions
Shekhar Challa, M.D. has owned a gastroenterology and hepatology private practice in Topeka, Kan., since 1987. He is a board-certified gastroenterologist, president of Kansas Medical Clinic and CEO of Osteoporosis Services. Dr. Challa has lectured on hepatitis C and other gastrointestinal and liver topics throughout Kansas, as well as internationally in India and Nepal. He is on numerous boards of directors, including U.S. Bank and the West-Central Osteoporosis Board of Proctor & Gamble, an Alliance for Better Bone Health.
Hep C Help
PREVENTION: Hepatitis C is primarily blood borne. Don't share needles. Don't share straws or other such items used to inhale drugs. Implements like toothbrushes or shaving razors could also transmit HCV if they come in contact with infected blood. The risk from sexual activity is very low (less than 3 percent) unless it involves multiple partners and blood contact. There is no risk from casual contact.
IF YOU GET IT: Don't drink alcohol. Get vaccinated against hepatitis A and B Â co-infection makes the prognosis worse.
WORST CASE SCENARIO: Liver damage can be so severe that a transplant is necessary -- but about 9,300 people are already on the waiting list. About 1,000 people die waiting each year.
TO BE TESTED NOW: See your doctor. Call 1-800-Go-Liver, the American Liver Foundation's toll-free hotline, to find local support. Most health insurance companies cover for antibody testing and if necessary, additional testing.
FUTURE TESTING: Home Access Health Corp., which offers a self-administered, mail-in test and counseling-referral service for the AIDS virus, has a similar test for hepatitis C that is currently in clinical trials. If approved, the $40-$50 service could be available next year.
Source: American Liver Foundation, Centers for Disease Control, Chronicle research
Winning the Hepatitis C Battle
By Shekhar Challa, M.D.
Book Release Date: November 2003
Contact: Erin Williams
2200 W. 6th St.
Topeka, Kan. 66606
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