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Recurrence in the Liver

jcavanaugh
Posts: 100
Joined: Mar 2004

Yesterday, my dad got the results of his PET scan. According to the scan, he has two suspicious spots on his liver in the right lobe. He also has a suspicious spot on his colon. Last year, he had a PET scan in April, the PET scan showed a suspicious spot on his colon. He had a colonoscopy and it was clean. No problem. This spot appeared again the December 2003 PET scan. Oncologist did not even mention this. He told us the PET scan was clean in December. Now, this spot is still there. Oncologist is puzzled by this but not overly concerned. Has this happened to anyone else? As far as the liver is concerned, he believes it is operable but will not commit. He could only see one spot on the PET scan when he looked at it. That one spot is operable but he could not find the other one. We will have to wait for the liver surgeon to make the decision. We see him on 3/24. Following surgery (I know we will have a resection!!), my dad has to undergo six more months of chemo (oxil??) and some pill twice a day. My dad finished a year on Campostar in September 2003. What is the difference in these treatments? Has this happened to anyone else? According to the oncologists, 25% of people with stage IV colon cancer can be cured if they remain cancer free for 3-5 years. Well, we were one year shy of that date this year. He says my dad is still curable and we should be aggressive. I am looking for hope. Can anyone relate?

KrisS
Posts: 232
Joined: Apr 2003

Oxaliplatin is a drug to which a fairly large percent of people respond. It was only approved by the FDA in the fall of 2002, although it has been used in Europe for longer. The thought probably is that if a tumor came back after receiving Campospar that perhaps there were a few tumor cells resistant to the drug that hung around, and so, perhaps switching to this drug might be a good choice.

Although I am sad to hear that your dad's tumor is possibly back, the fact that it took so long to have signs of a recurrence, is better than the alternative. I had exensive metastatic disease to lymph nodes and liver within 3 mths of my last surgery, although I have been well controlled on oxaliplatin during the last 10 mths.
Your dad's tumor on the other hand sounds like it is slow growing, and thus much more amenible to surgery.

Does it show up on CT scan or just on the PET scan? Occasional hot spots on PET scans result from things other than tumor, such as infection. Tumor however, is more likely when you have a history of colon cancer, even this long after.

Everyone is different, but if it were me, I would be happy to have an oncologist who is aggressively trying for a cure.

Best wishes,

Kris

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