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Colon cancer mets to liver

Posts: 17
Joined: Feb 2011

Tumor appears in liver to be approximately 3.9 and growing. Received this info from medical records. Can anyone give me any additional info what this means. Drs are being very vague and sending to specialists..

Stage etc


Lovekitties's picture
Posts: 3372
Joined: Jan 2010

Your post is a bit confusing and a lot concerning.

I take it you have or had colon cancer. What surgeries and/or treatments did you have? How long has it been?

I would suggest that you find another doctor for second opinion if the one you have is 'being very vague'. What kind of specialist are you being referred to?

If you can post your general location (country, state/provence, closest major city) and give us some more details, I am sure there are folks here who can give you info on their experiences.

Marie who loves kitties

Nana b's picture
Nana b
Posts: 3045
Joined: May 2009

Yes, please more info

Date of Diagnosis
Type of Cancer
Stage of Cancer
Any Surgeries
Any Chemo

Seeing an Oncologist
Seeing a Colorectal Surgeon
Seeing a Liver Surgeon

johnnybegood's picture
Posts: 1122
Joined: Oct 2008

doctors can be like that.right now i have been told i have mets to liver 2 of them the larger is 3.5cm and then proceeds to tell me i have one maybe two spots on my lung and that was all that was said about that.going to chemo onc monday maybe will get some answers then, best of luck to you..Godbless...johnnybegood

Posts: 17
Joined: Feb 2011

Ok, let me try this again.....

My apologizes.... I think I was just releasing some stress built up..

My husband had a colonospy on 1/21/2011, Friday. We got results on the following Thursday, had surgery Feb 2. Massive tumor removed from right colon. Was not provided with stage, etc. The doctor advised us also found 3 spots on liver which is cancer. We have been told nothing more.

The drs are sending us to Upmc in Pittsburgh to treat the liver.

We obtained the medical records to take with us and saw where the size of one of the tumors was what I stated above, 3.9 and growing. This is all the info that I have and I obtained that on my own research. The drs are bring so vague here locally.

I guess I didn't know if anyone could give me any additional info with the little info that I have.

When he was diagnosed, the dr advise the colon cancer had to come out quick.

We go to Pittsburgh this Saturday for a PET Scan, and then back to Pittsburgh on Monday to speak with the dr.

Again, sorry for the confusion.


PhillieG's picture
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

Sorry about your husbands diagnosis. It sounds like Stage IV. That is when the cancer goes to another organ. The liver is where it usually goes, then lungs are second. There are very many of us here with Stage IV so don't think it's the worst thing in the world. I think it's a good sign that his doctors realize that this is out of their league and sent him to see specialists. Please make sure that you get enough opinions and that he has the best possible team as he can get. That can make all of the difference in the world.

colon71's picture
Posts: 15
Joined: Feb 2011

Yes this does sound like stage 4 as it has left the colon and taken up a home in his liver. But like Phil said there are plenty of us here that are stage 4 at this time myself included. Seeing the liver surgeon is a very good thing as it will give you a plan of attack. Some surgeons like to remove the tumor right away and others like mine want to give chemo a chance to reduce the tumor. My tumor originally was 7.2 but it shrunk to 4.6 then the removed it. I also had a second tumor on my other lobe that was 4.2 and shrunk to 2.6 so the chemo helped me big time.

Hearing you have stage 4 colon cancer can be a huge shock to the system but it is not then end of the world and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Even if it's the doctor himself for he is only a doctor and there are plenty of them out there so ALWAYS get second if not third opinions. The petscan will certainly tell you a little bit more at it will show if the cancer is anywhere other than what they see in the liver. I pray that you get great results from the petscan and that the surgeon says that the tumor is removable and your husband can get started on his treatment plan.

Posts: 17
Joined: Feb 2011

PETS was yesterday

Resting today after a two hour road trip

See dr tomorrow
My husband is weak. He is tired. He is cold all the time. Is this normal?

What are we to expect to come?

JoyceSteele's picture
Posts: 146
Joined: Nov 2010

Pam, sorry about the news, and yes, it sounds like Stage IV. But try not to focus on that part. After they are finished testing and examining him, they will come up with a plan for his treatment. Surgery, chemo, radiation, both or all. The conclusion will depend on what they find. You will probably be able to have treatments (chemo) at an oncologist locally. And please be sure to find one that is NOT vague and treats you with empathy, respect and is not rushed. You have to be comfortable with your Dr. If not, find another one.

I can see why he would be weak, tired, before I was diagnosed that's how I felt for about 6 weeks not knowing it was cancer. And I'm always cold, even here in Florida, so not sure, maybe circulation, infection of some kind? Have they done any bloodwork?

Now the best news I can share with you is that you are going to an amazing place for his disease. UPMC is one of the finest in the nation, I researched for weeks and weeks, along with talking with my oncologist, who I adore, about where the best place to go would be IF I ever became a candidate for surgery. When I asked him where he would go, he said UPMC.. there is a Dr. Geller there who is one of the most highly respected Doctors there is. If you have not read about it, google it and you will be encouraged for sure.

I will keep you both in my prayers, take one day at a time and hard as it may be, try to think positively and believe and hope. Let us know how his appointment goes when you can. Hugs, Joyce

Posts: 72
Joined: Nov 2010

Are you going to Hillman or Presby? If you are going to Hillman I'd suggest you see Nathan Bahary, Oncologist, and David Bartlett, one of he best surgical oncologist in the country, if not the top! As for Presby/Montifore, I'd suggest Drs. Geller or Marsh. Both of their reputations precede themselves as well. My mom works with both and they are very good at what they do. They are strictly hepatobiliary surgeons only and you would need an oncologist.

My wife was Dx with stage IV in August with 15-20 mets to liver. She is now recovering from HAI pump insertion and Isolatd Liver Pefusion- only done at a few centers inthe world. One of which is done by Dr. Bartlett at Hillman. Marsh and Geller refer quite often to him as well as placesike Sloan, etc.

I don't always sign in but feel free to send me a pm with questions. If I don't respond post a msg to answer my pm and I will.

Best of luck,


Posts: 453
Joined: Aug 2008

Hi Pam

First, know that I am sorry to hear of your husbands diagnosis and know how very overwhelming it can all be.

Just wanted to let you know that I am a fellow Stage IV colon cancer survivor (dx Oct 2007), I live in Pittsburgh, went to UPMC Hilmman for treatments and work for UPMC so If there is anything I can do to help please let me know.


P.S As others have stated Dr. Geller and Dr. Barlett are top in their field and very highly respected as well as many of the other physicians at UPMC...be assured that your husband is in great hands.

Posts: 17
Joined: Feb 2011

PETS was yesterday.

Meet with Dr Marsh in the am @ Montifore. I suppose they will go over the results from the PET scan and then give us a plan of action.
Will then he refer us to an oncologist?

Thanks all,

Love and prayers to all

Posts: 453
Joined: Aug 2008

They will go over the results of the PET and give you a game plan for treatment and I am sure they will recommend an oncologist to you at some point depending on the plan....surgery first then chemo...chemo first etc...Also depending on what the plan is if it is standard chemo they may be able to coordinate it with a local oncologist so you dont have to travel 2hrs each time....

You will know so much more tomorrow morning....one step at a time....hang in there....I was able to settle in a little more once I had my game plan and was able to start fighting!

Again, please let me know if there is anything I can do.


My oncologist is Samuel Jacobs at Hillman and I love him!

Posts: 72
Joined: Nov 2010

Yes. He will most likely refer you to Dr. Lehman's group. I believe that group is from Allegheny General and is used quite a bit by Dr. Geller. So, I'd assume you'd be refered to the same group. If not, they're are many good oncologist at Hillman. Best of luck!

Posts: 17
Joined: Feb 2011

Met the doctor yesterday

Loved everyone in Pittsburgh. What a fantastic bunch of people.

Cancer is a stage IV. It is treatable. Chemo til not working anymore and then surgery.

The PETS showed no further spreading.

Gotta heal from the colon surgery then Chemo starts.

What am I to expect from Chemo. I have heard people say that chemo makes you mean. I am so afraid of this, my husband hasn't been mean to me one day that we have been together.

Not sure of what gonna put him on yet.


Posts: 453
Joined: Aug 2008

Im glad that you had a good experience here in Pittsburgh. It is wonderful news that the PET showed no additional metastasis.

Seems like in Pittsburgh the usual 1st line of chemo for Stage 4 is Folfox + Avastin....but there are other option as well. That was my chemo combo and it did not make me mean (maybe my hubby and kids would say different haha) There certainly are some side effects and challenges that come along with chemo...it is hard but do-able.

Once you know what the chemo combo is for sure let us know and those that had the same cocktail will undoubtably share their experiences. I know I would be happy to share mine.


herdizziness's picture
Posts: 3642
Joined: Apr 2010

Well, I'm naturally mean, and the chemo didn't make me any meaner.
Winter Marie

Buzzard's picture
Posts: 3073
Joined: Aug 2008

don't worry bout it.....ole famous saying......one step at a time...and grab all victories no matter how large or small, they are what will get you through all of this...the tiniest of good news snippets give us enough of a "fix" to keep going until finally you come out the other side saying "Damn, that was a fast year".....it will fly by, hold on and roll with it....we'll all be right here for you...........buzz

Posts: 1
Joined: Dec 2012

In April My mother was in the hospital for a colon blockage. The blockage was high in the illium. They ran test after test.. could not determine what was wrong. Alot of pain, etc. The colon has shrunk to the point they could not get the probe to the spot they needed to get to until the swelling went down. After a week stay they still had not determined what was wrong but she felt better and was having normal bowel movements. She did have a spot on liver but it was not a concern at that time. Well last week nov 29th. she went to have an mri of liver. The mri showed that the spot had grown from 1.2 to 2.1 since April.
So they did a biopsy of liver. Test came back positive for cancer. Now Doctor is saying he thinks it is colon cancer.. But all the test before there was no sign of colon cancer. How can she no have Colon cancer bad enough to have metastisis to liver.. but no symtoms.. only some constipation.. which she has always dealt with.. and some stomach cramping once in a great while. other wise she feels fine? What is being missed here.. why did they not see anything in April? I'm a such as loss. She has a colonoscopy scheduled for Dec 12th.. Dr. says he will know more then.. I guess as to where the cancer is coming from.
My main question is .. Is this stage IV? is it possible to have colon cancer move to the liver and never have any symtoms or ever treated for colon cancer?

Posts: 157
Joined: Jul 2011

I am sorry you find yourself in this position and on this forum ... though this is a great resource with wonderful people who can support you and provide information.

Unfortunately, it is entirely possible to have metastatic cancer (stage 4) with an unknown primary site. In spite of the increasing sophistication in the diagnostic workup for malignancies, detailed investigations fail to reveal a primary site of origin for a subset of patients with metastatic cancer. This is often referred to as carcinoma of unknown primary origin (CUP) or occult primary malignancy.

Basically, as it relates to your mom, it is possible for her to have liver metastases of colonic origin without ever having had an original colon tumor located. Sometimes body's own natural defenses eliminate a tumor ... though not before it has had an opportunity to spread through the blood streem. Sometimes,the tumor is so very small and not easily detected by imaging.

Either way, please know that stage4 colon cancer with metastases limited to the liver is still a potentially curable disease ... and it is certainly very treatable.

All the best to you and your mom. I'll be thinking of you both.

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