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The Most Experienced Multidisciplinary Liver Disease, Liver Cancer and Bile Duct Cancer Treatment and Surgical Care in New Jersey
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The number of people with complications from chronic liver disease, particularly chronic viral hepatitis C and B, will increase 2-3 fold by the years 2015-2020. The main complications are liver failure and liver cancer. Currently there are about 4,000,000 people with chronic hepatitis C and 1,250,000 people with chronic hepatitis B in the United States who can benefit from treatment. In New Jersey there are about 135,000 people with hepatitis C and 65,000 people with hepatitis B. This will put overwhelming and unachievable demands on the need for liver transplantation and cause the number of people diagnosed with liver cancer to double over the next 10-15 years. This does not include the additional health burden of obesity induced fatty liver disease and steatohepatitis related cirrhosis, which is estimated to surpass chronic viral hepatitis as the leading cause of cirrhosis and liver failure by the years 2020-2025. By that time there will be at least 2,500,000 people in the United States with cirrhosis.
Finding expert care in liver disease and cancer treatment can be a challenge. Comprehensive liver care of New Jersey is a network of physicians in our state with a long history of dedication and treatment to reduce the health burden of liver disease. Our approach includes advocacy, education, prevention, multi-disciplinary treatment, advanced surgery, advanced endoscopy, advanced radiologic intervention, clinical trials and scientific development of better therapies. As the health burden of liver disease continues to grow, it is crucial that we not only find better treatment of the complications of liver disease, but are advocates of lifestyles that promote good health and prevent chronic liver damage.
There are currently over 60,000 people in New Jersey with cirrhosis. For each person transplanted, there are 500-1000 people with cirrhosis. These people are at continued risk for liver cancer and liver failure. As the number of organ donors remain mostly unchanged, the rapidly growing number of people progressing to liver failure will cause more patients to die while awaiting liver transplant. Currently the average cost of a liver transplant is $285,000 to $315,000. Although liver transplant is life saving, there is a great need to improve early diagnosis and treatment to more effectively deal with this epidemic.
Early diagnosis and treatment of chronic viral hepatitis allows for an opportunity to eradicate infection and reduce the risk of liver failure and liver cancer. Unfortunately 70-80 percent of people with hepatitis C or B are not diagnosed. Although progress has been made in anti-viral treatment, only 50% of patients treated are able to eradicate their virus. In this regard, there is a compelling need to increase early diagnosis and to enroll patients in clinical trials to find better treatments to cure hepatitis C and B infection.
Similarly, 70-80 percent of patients diagnosed with liver cancer are not curable, and will die within 5 years of being diagnosed. The biggest barrier to improving survival is most people are diagnosed too late. Thus, there is also a great need to identify people in need of routine liver cancer surveillance.
Please contact me if I can assist you with any project to combat liver disease in your area.
Andrew N. de la Torre MD
Founder of Comprehensive Liver Care of New Jersey
or contact our or Research Coordinator at 973-972-6812
Dedicated to the founders of the Sammy Davis Jr. Liver Institute, who dedicated their lives to the eradication of liver disease regardless of race, ethnicity or income.