When Nguyen Van Son was diagnosed with hepatitis B in 1996 he suspected he had contracted the disease in Vietnam, before coming to Australia in 1982. While initially he wasn’t given much information, his doctor predicted it may “bite right back at him”. These words proved true, as his hepatitis B had progressed to cancer and a tumour discovered on his liver.
With support from family, Son went through many tests and treatment, and eventually received a liver transplant in 2021.
Son wishes he had been more aware of hepatitis B and his health at the start. He encourages others in his community to restrict their drinking and smoking, and consider blood tests for hepatitis B and other diseases to catch them early and simplify their treatment.
Having caught the tumour in early stages, Son has recovered well from the transplant and rehabilitation. However he feels there is still much work to be done in raising awareness of hepatitis B in his community. In telling his story, he hopes that others can learn from his experience.