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Liver Cancer with unknown primary

athanasd
Posts: 2
Joined: Feb 2012

Hi Everyone,

I am wondering if anyone can give me some insight about liver cancer mets and an unknown primary. My friend is 39 years old and has always been healthy. She has a 5cm tumour in the liver but they can't find the primary. She is not a drinker, no history of hep. or liver disease. Her CT was clean and so was her bone scan of any other organs showing any cancer on them. I am wondering about what treatment will they be given to treat her cancer....

Thanks,

Anne Marie

LeeandShirley's picture
LeeandShirley
Posts: 122
Joined: Apr 2011

From what little I have learned about an unknown primary, is that there may be a primary cancer that just never grew large enough to be seen on any scans, and yet did send out seed cancer cells that grew elsewhere. They may never know the primary, unless they would possibly biopsy the liver tumor and be able to identify the cells there. The primary tumor will seed cells similar to the place where it came from. For instance, breast cancer that has mets to the liver looks like breast cancer, in the liver. Not all are able to be identified, and I don't know why that is. As far as treatment is concerned, the oncologist is the one to set protocol for treatment, based on his experiences and the newest or best and most effective treatment available. These are really questions that should be put to the oncologist and if he is vague or does not answer to your satisfaction, I would ask the family physician to explain things till you understand what is going on. So often with a new diagnosis of cancer, the patients have a plethera of questions and the physicians just want to get on with the treatment without understanding the need for the clarification of the process. Keep asking and do not feel like you are pressing the doctor. His job goes beyond just giving medicine. He should communicate to the best of his ability, until you are satisfied that you understand.

athanasd
Posts: 2
Joined: Feb 2012

Thanks LeeandShirley. I appreciate your help. There was a liver biopsy done to confirm the cancer but they can only tell from the biopsy I believe ( I have not see the path report) that is a secondary liver cancer.

Thanks again,

Anne Marie

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