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Hepatitis B positive, AFP level, tumor marker, liver cancer, abdominal pain, weakness, nausea, fatigue, herbal treatment, jaundice, hepatitis C negative, non smoker, no alcohol. Acute or chronic hepatitis B?

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Hi Doctor,
My father aged 64 years is detected as Hepatatis B positive, but the AFP (Alpha fetoprotein) level has shooted very high and the doctors are suggesting that is could be a tumor marker for Liver Cancer.
The reason why we went to the doctor was that he was having abdominal pain, weakness, nautia, fatgue.
We are very much upset, currently we are undergoing the herbal treatment and he is improving , according to the herbal (ayurvedic) doctor it is Jaundice. Hep C is negative. He does nopt have any other medical history. No smoking/alcohol
Kindly let me know if Hep B can also cause the AFP count to elevate?
Would it be acute HepB or chronic?

Posted Tue, 8 May 2012 in Liver and Gall Bladder
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 20 minutes later

Thanks for writing to us.

Acute hepatitis B infection does not usually require treatment because most adults clear the infection spontaneously. Early antiviral treatment may only be required in fewer than 1% of patients, whose infection takes a very aggressive course (fulminant hepatitis) or who are immunocompromised.

On the other hand, treatment of chronic infection is necessary to reduce the risk of cirrhosis and liver cancer. Chronically infected individuals with persistently elevated serum alanine aminotransferase (AAT), a marker of liver damage can develop cancer in later stages if not treated properly.

Raised AFP is a tumor marker and suggests that your father is predisposed to liver cancer. It is best to get him investigated completely and rule out cancer by biopsy.

Hope my answer and recommendations are adequate and helpful. Waiting for your further follow up queries if any.

Wishing you good health.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Hepatitis B positive, AFP level, tumor marker, liver cancer, abdominal pain, weakness, nausea, fatigue, herbal treatment, jaundice, hepatitis C negative, non smoker, no alcohol. Acute or chronic hepatitis B? 17 hours later
Thanks Dr. Your suggestions are really helpful, i have some more queries below:

Can biopsy of the liver done without physical damage (i.e. through some laser technology), because as i understandnd the tissues of the liver are taken with the help of needle and tested.
My father is very scared of any kind of surgery/operation as it might harm the liver completely.
What does you expereince say? Can the AFP elevate because of Hep B or
would it be cancer?
If Yes does it have any treatment other than Chemo and Radio (Radio i beleive is not possible for liver)?
Can cancer be cured/prevented from further damage with ayurvedic medicine?
Kindly suggest any specialist for this scenario in Pune (Maharashtra- India).

Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 14 minutes later

Thanks for writing again.

Biopsy of liver cannot be done without inserting a needle inside. It is necessary for diagnosis. It does not damage the liver . Rather early diagnosis will prevent further liver damage.

AFP is more suggestive of cancer which might have developed due to chronic viral hepatitis.

Treatment depends on type of cancer, its extent of spread, stage, physical condition of patient, etc.

Currently no form of treatment is available to cure cancer. The effectiveness of ayurvedic medications is not known.

To find a good oncologist nearest to your place, we have patient written reviews for doctors in our listing, those can guide you for a better doctor. You can search for a doctor in your area at

Hope my answer is helpful.

Wishing you a trouble free speedy recovery.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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