Jul 07, 2010 - 9:24 am
My father was diagnosed with liver cancer recently, I presume they caught it early as they'd noticed the slow rise in his AFP levels and were scanning him regularly. After initally finding nothing they eventually found a 2cm tumor which was resected in March with good margins. He was given a 5yr survival chance of ~60% which is good for this type of cancer.
Since the operation his AFP's have rocketed, last check had them in the (up from 600's the week before) 2000's but despite repeated scans nothing could be found.
He is dealing with two specialists (surgeon and, presumably, a hepatologist) and is getting mixed messages. One of them (let's call him Doctor A) is recommending he go on Sornafenib to try to lower the AFP's / kill whatever is causing them. The other (Doctor B) is saying wait 6 weeks and then they'll run all the scans again.
We told Doctor B about possibly using Sornafenib and he dismissed it as something only used in cases where there's little hope.
We asked them to talk to each other and to straighten out the course of action and they've come back agreeing on the 'wait 6 weeks' option and re-scan.
My question is; why was Sornafenib even vaguely discussed as an option if it's only used in late cases (which I don't think my father is)? And should he be on it now, are there any down sides to him taking it now?
Does this wait and see approach seem normal in cases with very high AFP's but no visible tumor?