myjsusnsk, my advice would be to stop Googling and reading until you get a firm diagnosis. We encourage new members who have been recently diagnosed with liver disease (or whose loved ones have) to learn as much as possible. However, it is dangerous to try to diagnose yourself and, as you admitted, you are scaring yourself.
I have never heard of there being a connection between lichen planus and any type of hepatitis. So I don't know where you got that idea.
HCC is usually caused by untreated hepatitis C or a cirrhotic liver that develops cancer. I'm sure there are some cases where the etiology is unknown, but usually it is part of a disease process. I had HCC, diagnosed in 2005. I was having ultrasounds every year. The previous year showed no tumor, but in 2005, the tumor was 11.5 cm x 12 cm--huge. I really believe that it was overlooked the previous year. However, I can also tell you that I had no pain prior to diagnosis. Had I not had that ultrasound, I would not have known I had cancer.
Cirrhosis is usually determined by a biopsy. If you are still drinking, I would strongly urge you to stop. That is the best thing you can do for your liver.
Perhaps you can ask for another CT scan or an MRI with Gadolinium for a definitive diagnosis. And I think you are making the right decision not to mention your fears to your family until you know one way or the other what is going on.
Thanks, Rick. Regarding the LP, I've never heard of a connection between that and hep C. Doesn't mean one doesn't exist...I've just never heard or read of it. My Mosby's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary says that lichen plantus is thought to be caused by stress and that there might be a genetic component. It also says it is treatable, though it does take some time to get rid of it.
When I first had an MRI with Gadolinium, I was told that if cancer was anywhere in my body, it would "light up like a Christmas tree." Now that I am 2 years cancer free, they usually do CT scans with both an oral and an IV contrast. I believe the IV contrast they use is specifically to look for cancer...and, of course, that is why they are doing the test.
In your case, certainly you should ask for tests for hep B and C, if you are concerned. Hep C has absolutely nothing to do with drinking...except that alcohol is the worst thing you can do, but it is a blood-borne disease which is usually contracted via transfusions prior to '92 or the sharing of needles during drug use. Hep B can be contracted through close association to someone who has it, including through saliva. If these tests are negative, then you can rule out those diseases. However, you might want to find a GI doc who will do a biopsy to determine if you have cirrhosis.
I had been sober for 6 yrs. when I was diagnosed with hep C. However, had I still been drinking, I don't think I would have lived very long.
Let us know what you find out, and again good luck to you.