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Early screening crucial for effective management of hepatitis C

(NC) Hepatitis C is a growing epidemic in Canada with estimates of related illnesses set to double, or even triple, over the next decade.

For many people, the disease can be managed if treated early. In Canada, however, sources tell us there are a limited number of health care providers who can diagnose the disease, particularly in remote areas, and that makes early treatment difficult.

A new program called Link-C – a partnership between University Health Network and pharmaceutical company, Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd. – aims to increase the number of doctors with the expertise to diagnose and treat hepatitis C early on, particularly in the remote communities of Ontario.

“We recognize that an alarming number of Canadians lack timely access to hepatitis C care,” says Dr. Jordan Feld, of the Francis Family Liver Clinic at Toronto Western Hospital, part of the University Health Network. “Link-C will bring education and support to far more health care professionals so we can improve this kind of care for men and women across Canada.”

A large number of Canadians with hepatitis C remain undiagnosed. A recent report reveals that as many as 70 per cent of people are not aware that they are infected with hepatitis C. Talk to your doctor about getting screened.

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