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Prognosis

With early diagnosis and treatment, the serious consequences of iron overload in the body can often be avoided. However, once tissue damage has developed, problems related to that damage, such as arthritis or diabetes, are usually long lasting. A liver transplant is sometimes necessary for people with advanced liver failure, and people with hemochromatosis and cirrhosis of the liver are more likely to develop a form of liver cancer called hepatoma. Screening tests, including ultrasound and blood tests, may detect hepatoma at a curable stage.

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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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