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Liver Mets

Posts: 151
Joined: Aug 2009

Hi! EVERYBODY.  I've been away for some time - busy with the grandkids and work. I always have kept everybody in my prayers and I love everyone of you.  Question? My CEA level has been rising so I went for the normal PET and they saw a 2 1/2cm lesion on my liver that now has to be removed along with follow up chemo.  I'm confused because I feel really good and don't want to go back there again, but if I don't, it could just keep spreading right?  I have almost 5 yrs in since my last diagnosis.  When I was last diagnosed, I had an obstruction - had a colon resection with an ablation on my liver.  I feel this time around it wouldn't be quite as bad.  BUT THE CHEMO. BLAHHH.  If I agree to the chemo will it make me worse or will I get another 5 years.  Though I think the chemo had suppressed the cancer from coming back sooner.  Should I get a second opinion - or find my way back there again and try for another 5 years.  Can anybody relate?  Thanks.

Lovekitties's picture
Posts: 3360
Joined: Jan 2010

I have no personal experience to draw on, but there is another recent thread regarding options for liver mets, which may offer you some things to consider:



Marie who loves kitties

Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

If it continues to grow (malignant or benign), it would have to be addressed one way or the other....2.5cm would be on my radar...if it grew more in a 2 month period, you'd start to know that something was indeed amiss.  CEA was a good marker at the time for my liver, so that might be an indicator.

If it is cancer...and left unchecked, well, you already know the answer to that one...from the liver, the lungs could be next, one or both...it's a hard fight in the lungs I can tell you...I"ve done two lung surgeries now...bunches of lung cut out...radiation took 10% more lung capacity...and they sawed out two ribs, just for grins. 

Had been in liver prior...

Surgical option would be preferable...RFA is a good alternative to resection...the chemo question as to whether or not to do...always a coin toss...it could suppress things for awhile and come back...or might not....I've recurred 3x now, but currently in a remissive state and waiting...longest time for me at 19-mos.

Five years is a huge leap...I'd break that down to every six-months when scans roll...although where you are at right now, they may back you down to a 3-month scan cycle, until you show remissive enough to move back to six-months.

Gotta' fight now...don't give away all that you've worked for....we can't pay for the same real estate twice.

Best of luck!



Posts: 1170
Joined: Sep 2012

Sorry you're dealing with this again. Act quickly. Get rid of the tumor, do the chemo and hope for the best. It's great that there is only one tumor and it is still at a manageable size. Craig is right. If you don't look after this you will be giving up all you worked for last time. Good luck to you!


Posts: 172
Joined: Jul 2012

Get a 2nd opinion if it makes you feel better with decision making.  You need to feel confident that you are doing the right thing for yourself.  If it was me, I'd do the liver resection and the chemo.  You already have a 2.5cm tumor so the chances are very high that there is microscopic disease present as well.  A 1cm tumor supposedly contains 1 billion cancer cells.  Blood is continually moving through the liver to the rest of your body.  Believe me, you don't want the tumors elsewhere and you don't want to be on the "chemo-for-life" plan in order to get a few more years.

All the best to you :)


herdizziness's picture
Posts: 3642
Joined: Apr 2010

I'm on second re-occurance at the moment, hoping for surgery (they said they could earlier and then found too many tumors so changed their minds).

So definitely do the surgery (have to get rid of the tumor!!) and think about the chemo, okay?

Looking forward to 5 years...

Winter Marie

annalexandria's picture
Posts: 2573
Joined: Oct 2011

My doctor's approach (admittedly after two failed chemos) as been to do only surgery (no chemo) to address the last two tumors that I had, both of which were singletons.  There is also a woman at the Colon Club (Diane something) who had a single liver met removed a few months back and is doing well, no chemo.  I've also read that prognosis is much better with a solitary met, with cure via surgery a defeinite possibility.  Good luck, and keep us posted on how it goes.  Ann Alexandria

PS I would also consider adding cimetidine before and after surgery, to reduce the chance of further spread.

Posts: 271
Joined: Nov 2011

I know 'Dianetavegia' and 'Frances' from Colonclub and the information they shared regarding liver mets was a great help to me when making my decision.  I had a solitary liver met removed and no follow up chemo.  Frances has a medical background and has done a large amount of research.  She has some documentation saying all studies regarding follow up chemo have been stopped due to no proof of any added benefit.  You can search for either their names or by subject at colon club very easily.  

Here's the links from Frances and Diane on the other forum plus a quote I saved:


Two-Stage Resection and Improved Chemotherapy Regimens Lengthen Survival for Patients with Liver Metastases from Colorectal Cancer 




Researchers at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas prospectively studied patients with a first solitary liver metastasis who were treated either with hepatic resection or radiofrequency ablation. …. 

Present study shows an 80% 3-year survival rate (and a 71% 5-year survival rate) after HR and well-established data showing 10- and 20-year survivors after HR of solitary and multiple metastases, even without adjuvant chemotherapy

Posts: 2215
Joined: Oct 2011

I have had it in my liver 3X. Each time I did surgery followed by chemo. This last time they said it was a coin toss weather i should do chemo or not. I decided to do it. If i am ever faced with that choice again i am leaning towards no chemo after surgery. I think that wait and see approach makes sense. The problem with chemo after surgery is that you dont know if you need it or if it is working and in the meantime you could be building up a resistence to the drugs narrowing your options in the future.

Posts: 151
Joined: Aug 2009

Thank you everyone for your advise and opinions very helpful.  I've decided to do the RFA

with follow up Chemo.  Ill keep you posted How I do.


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