All blood work was normal but hep c was positive. Can I still have liver cancer?

See a specialist. You're unlikely to have liver cancer, though your long term risk may be higher. You need to find out more about the hepatitis c. Is it active (hcv RNA positive)? Is there evidence of fibrosis or cirrhosis (liver ultrasound, biopsy)? How treatable is it (hcv genotype, il28 genotype)?
May be later. You may need more than blood work to rule out liver cancer, e.g., ct scan. However, chronic hepatitis c does put you at risk for liver cancer. You should consider getting treated for hep c as it is possible to rid a person of the hep c virus.
Bloodwork not enough. There is no blood work that can screen for liver cancer. AFP is a test that is sometimes used, but is so insensitive that it's routine use is no longer recommended. The only way to screen for liver cancer is with an imaging test such as a dual-phase ct, or an mri. If you have developed cirrhosis on top of the hep c, you should be getting imaging tests every 6 months to check for cancer.

Related Questions

What makes some people with hepatitis C more likely to get liver cancer?

Cirrhosis. Hepatitis c commonly causes chronic liver disease. Over time, if untreated, and with ongoing inflammation, can lead to scarring (cirrhosis). Hep c patients with cirrhosis are at increased risk for liver cancer. Goals of rx are to get rid of virus, stop the inflammation, prevent the scarring, and prevent cancer as well as liver failure. Read more...
Bad disease control. Patients who are not well controlled by treatment, who continue to have liver damages due to the virus, and/or other factors such as IV drug use, alcohol, will have a higher chance to progress to cirrhosis, and liver cancer. Also, high fat diet can increase injury to the liver and thus more risk for cancer. Read more...

What makes some people with hepatitis C more or less likely to get liver cancer?  

Cirrhosis. Patients with hepatitis c and liver cirrhosis are at the highest risk of liver cancer (hcc). Patients with hepatitis c but no cirrhosis are at an extremely low risk for hcc and don't require screening. Read more...
Cirrhosis. In hepatitis c, you must have cirrhosis, prior to developing liver cancer. Alcohol, obesity, diabetes and HIV meds can accelerate liver damage leading to cirrhosis at a faster rate. Read more...

Is there a way to screen people with hepatitis C for liver cancer?

MD, SONO, AFP lab. Liver cancer (ca) in hep c generally occurs if there is cirrhosis (scarring) of the liver. Hep b can get ca without cirrhosis. Check with md for viral load, genotype, other possible hep viruses, other causes chronic liver disease (autoimmune, iron, copper disease). May need liver biopsy to decide on need for rx (and type). Sonogram (no xrays), Alpha feto protein (afp, tumor marker). Read more...
Yes. Three modalities: ultrasound, ct scan (imaging) and alpha-fetoprotein levels (blood). Most clinicians will alternate AFP and us every six months, reserving ct for abnormal us findings. Read more...

Is there a way to screen people with hepatitis C to check for liver cancer?

Yes. The mayo clinic uses alternating CT scan and ultrasound every 6 months in patients. Read more...
No. The american association for the study of liver diseases guidelines recommend a liver ultrasound every 6 months. In practice, most liver centers do a blood test called Alpha fetoprotein and with a CT scan or MRI of the liver every 6-12 months. Currently, we alternate ultrasound with a CT scan or MRI every 6 months with Alpha fetoprotein. The screening practices do vary by center. Read more...
Yes. Most liver cancer screening programs use a combination of Alpha fetoprotein and ultrasound. Other imaging such as ct and MRI may also be used. If you are planning to have ultrasound screening, it is important to do this at a center with sonographers and radiologists that are experienced in this screening procedure. Read more...

How does hepatitis C lead to liver cancer?  

Cirrhosis. Chronic inflammation can lead to cancer. In the case of hepatitis c, patients first develop cirrhosis which is scarring of the liver from chronic inflammation prior to liver cancer. This chronic scarring combined with chronic inflammation can lead to liver cancer up to 25 percent of the time. Read more...
HCC Risk with HCV. Hepatitis c (hcv) infection leads to liver inflammation and liver scarring. Advanced liver scarring is also called cirrhosis. Patients with hcv and cirrhosis are at a higher risk for liver cancer and should be screened by their physicians for liver cancer. Patients with successful eradication of their hcv and cirrhosis will need to continue liver cancer screening. Read more...

Does hepatitis C lead to liver cancer? How?

Yes, it can. Any type of long-standing irritation to the liver can cause cancer. These types of irritation include iron overload, alcohol overuse, and yes, hepatitis exposure. Basically, the body attacks cells with the hepatitis c virus inside. The body heals, and when this happens many times over the years, the new liver cells are disorganized in how they grow, to the point that they form cancer. Read more...
Yes. Like any chronic condition affecting the liver, hcv leads to liver cancer over time, usually preceded by cirrhosis histologically. The average time from infection to cancer is about 20 to 30 years. Read more...