Many people who are infected with hepatitis C virus (about 75 out of every 100 infected) develop chronic inflammation of the liver. This condition leads to liver cancer in about 1 out of 5 cases (about 15 out of every 100 people infected). Unlike hepatitis B virus, the risk of chronic infection with hepatitis C virus does not decrease when infection begins in adult age. When you have chronic hepatitis C, drinking alcohol, smoking, or co-infection with the hepatitis B virus increases your chances of developing liver cancer.