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Hepatic Diseases Center
Chronic liver disease is very common in Taiwan. It is estimated that there are about 2.5 million people with chronic hepatitis B infection and 500,000 people with chronic hepatitis C infection all over the nation. In Taiwan, chronic liver disease is the tenth leading cause of death, while liver cancer is ranked second among the top 10 cancers that cause death. Therefore, chronic liver disease can be said to be one of the most common diseases, and is also a disease that must be encountered in daily clinical diagnosis and treatment. Chronic liver disease is almost impossible to heal in the absence of special antiviral drug therapies, and it can be said that it requires medical follow-up throughout the patient’s lifetime. Patients with chronic hepatitis are prone to frequent severe inflammation and hepatocyte necrosis, which may lead to cirrhosis. What's more, in the case of late stage liver failure, it may give rise to complications such as ascites, jaundice, esophageal varices bleeding, or hepatic encephalopathy. It is impossible to survive unless a liver transplant is performed. Patients with chronic hepatitis and cirrhosis are also prone to liver cancer. Once it is developed, unless early diagnosis is performed, surgical removal or percutaneous electric cauterization or alinjections will be required to remove the tumor. If found late, only non-eradicative or auxiliary symptomatic therapies can be applied, through which most of the patients die within a few months after the diagnosis, and the prognosis is very poor.
The hospital on November 14, 2003 set up the Center for Liver Disease for offering the patients clinical services. The center can effectively integrate the diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up examinations of patients with hepatic disease in the hospital, and plays an important role in improving the clinical care of these patients. Under such a framework, the center actively develops clinical drug protocols for chronic hepatitis, and the early diagnosis of and local eradication therapy for small hepatocellular carcinoma, so as to provide the most advanced treatment and boost the long-term survival rate of the patients in the hospital.