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Elevated liver enzymes please help..UPDATED

keystone's picture
keystone
Posts: 133
Joined: Dec 2010

My husband just met with the oncologist yesterday. He has completed 2 FOLFOX teatments and has had the normal side effects but the Dr. informed us that his liver enzyme were elevated. He did not say which one nor the actual count (said it was not real high). He was on a high dose of Xeloda before surgery without any concerns relating with blood counts. I have looked at many threads on this but I'm wondering which FOLFOX drug is usually the culprit of this. It does not look like "normally" this is a sign of progression of cancer and we really have no reason to believe his cancer has spread. He is stage IIIa with post surgical path reports only showing 1/22 lymph nodes involved. If anyone could help me on this I sure would appreciate it.

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4672
Joined: May 2005

from a page at the Mayo Clinic website:
"Elevated liver enzymes may be discovered during routine blood testing. In most cases, liver enzyme levels are only mildly and temporarily elevated. Most of the time, elevated liver enzymes don't signal a chronic, serious liver problem."

"Elevated liver enzymes may indicate inflammation or damage to cells in the liver. Inflamed or injured liver cells leak higher than normal amounts of certain chemicals, including liver enzymes, into the bloodstream, which can result in elevated liver enzymes on blood tests."

Not to be an alarmist, but elevated liver enzymes was initially how I found out I had cancer. I had no other symptoms.

Probably it's from the FOLFOX. Did the oncologist suggest what might be the cause? You can worry yourself sick with only partial information and then using the internet to try to figure it out.
-phil

mom_2_3's picture
mom_2_3
Posts: 937
Joined: Nov 2008

Keystone,

Elevated liver enzymes are common when on chemotherapy regimens. My liver enzymes have been elevated since treatment and they are still are even though my last chemo treatment was November 2009. The liver enzymes the doctor looks at are the ALT, AST, Alkaline Phosphatase and Bilirubin.

At http://www.labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/alt/test.html you can review more information about ALT as well as link to pages specific to the other liver enzymes.

If your doctor isn't too concerned with the numbers, don't be. I used to track my numbers on a spreadsheet and be very concerned with them but as of right now my doctor isn't too concerned, so I try not to worry either.

Amy

pete43lost_at_sea's picture
pete43lost_at_sea
Posts: 3915
Joined: Nov 2010

dear keystone,

sometimes the number maybe the reason you are pulled of folfox early or the dose reduced.

look at milk thistle here, lots of posts.

read sandra cabot the bowel and liver bible. i did andi think my
liver loves me, except i had a cocktail tonight. first one in a year.

hugs,

pete

Sonia32's picture
Sonia32
Posts: 1068
Joined: Mar 2009

I know both your husband and yourself will though, hard not too. If your oncologist isn't concerned, ie they don't want to do further tests, scan etc then it's ok. They will be monitoring things though which is good. I think no one on chemo has escaped their liver levels being elevated, i know i didn't even after treatment finished. Main thing is that they keep it monitored. About milk thistle that is great, but I would advise you to check with your oncologist that it is ok to take while on chemo. I know we all try different supplements while on chemo, i only stuck with one multi vitamin which my oncologist was ok with. Garlic, separate vitamins etc he said no. But my family made sure I kept up with my fruits etc, everyone is different you will find the right balance for you.

Hugs

pepebcn's picture
pepebcn
Posts: 6352
Joined: Aug 2010

Don't worry about!

keystone's picture
keystone
Posts: 133
Joined: Dec 2010

Thanks everyone! Going to try to take a deep breath and wait till Tuesday when his next bloodwork will be in. Is it me or is there ALWAYS something to be concerned about!

keystone's picture
keystone
Posts: 133
Joined: Dec 2010

AFT-76
ALT-159
Alkolyne Phosphapase-156

Just don't know why its going up now. I sure hope its the meds. Thanks guys!!

westie66's picture
westie66
Posts: 642
Joined: Jun 2010

That was how I found out I had a problem from a regular blood test that showed elevated liver enzymes (lucky for me). The tumour from the gallbladder had penetrated the liver. My oncologist like someone else's on an earlier post took me off milk thistle while on chemo because he had a patient who experienced severely elevated liver enzymes while on milk thistle. So for now I'll obey the oncologist as he seems to be in charge of my life right now. There are excellent reasons to take it too. Obviously more research needed and bodies do differ.
Cheryl

NJC
Posts: 65
Joined: Nov 2010

He's fine...Normal elevation of AST, ALT and Alk Phos due to chemo. I'd also venture to say his bilirubin is in the normal range as well..Relax and have a nice holiday!

pepebcn's picture
pepebcn
Posts: 6352
Joined: Aug 2010

1.2 no liver problems!

pepebcn's picture
pepebcn
Posts: 6352
Joined: Aug 2010

alkaline phosphatase ,it's been at 3800 two years ago! Now and since then i'm in the 200's feel great from liver, so no panic about!.
Hope it helped !

relaxoutdoors08
Posts: 521
Joined: May 2011

I had elevated Liver tests with my highest at 244 and then the Oncologist lowered the chemo to 80% for #11, #12 Folfox. At my 3 months post chemo appointment my levels are approaching the normal range and I am NED. Prayers for your husband as well.
NB

thxmiker's picture
thxmiker
Posts: 1225
Joined: Oct 2010

My oncologist told me to let him worry about the numbers. I did watch them and ask questions, but never questioned his methods.

Let your doctor worry about the numbers. If you do not feel that confident in your Oncologist, then find a different one.

I believe we need to be proactive in our health. At the same time we do not have all the education, nor experience to interpret all of the numbers. I asked plenty of questions during chemo, but at the end trusted my Oncologist.

Best Always, mike

pepebcn's picture
pepebcn
Posts: 6352
Joined: Aug 2010

take care of you mate, see you soon!

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4672
Joined: May 2005

I think we need to be informed patients but there is a line where being informed and having a ton of information that I can not process or understand. I played that game in the beginning and worried like crazy. Now, I get what information I need and try not to play the numbers game.
I like your comment "Let your doctor worry about the numbers. If you do not feel that confident in your Oncologist, then find a different one."
-phil

westie66's picture
westie66
Posts: 642
Joined: Jun 2010

Thanks, Mike and Phil and all: Good advice. I want to be informed but not overloaded - I need some energy and mind space to concentrate on my family and friends. But I'd like to know my CEA number (I can't help it!!!!!). Haven't had that test just CA19 and CA125. And they were well within normal ranges.
Cheryl

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