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Can chemo alone remove liver mets?

abita's picture
abita
Posts: 658
Joined: Dec 2017

Has anyone had small liver mets go away with treatment when they can't be removed?

Twinzma
Posts: 216
Joined: Jan 2018

My husband had 30 liver mets at diagnosis, per the last CT scan a lot of them disappeared. The largest which was over 3 cm is less than a millimeter. BUT that was seen on CT  subject to human interpetation. Who knows what is brewing still. He is having a PET scan is a few weeks so that will tell the truth and light up like a christmas tree. Keeping my fingers crossed for a good outcome, setting my expectaions low to avoid shock or disappointment. I will post back as soon as we get the results.....Scanxiety is an understatment for us right now! 

abita's picture
abita
Posts: 658
Joined: Dec 2017

Thank you. I finished chemo, thought my post chemo scan was good, and was celebrating. Then got MRI for spots they thught were scars, and now he says they are most likely cancer, but spread out so inoperable. I asked if it is possible that chemo or immunotherapy could kill them since they are small. He said no. THe MRI showed two more spots that are too small to be seen on CT, so bracing myself for what the pet scan will show. But trying to give myself hope. I am only 52. I have a lot left to do.

myAZmountain
Posts: 282
Joined: Apr 2018

Why wouldnt chemo or immunotherapy have a chance at shrinking the tumors I wonder? I also thought that small tumors don't show up on PET scan. And I also thought CT scan was the best method to identify tumors. I am so sorry you are going through this!

abita's picture
abita
Posts: 658
Joined: Dec 2017

I think the pet scan may be the best to highlight cancer cells. I do think the ct scan is good for details on the tumors for surgery and stuff. I don't know. If they turn out to be tumors, they are very small at this point. In fact, so small haven't started producing CEA. My level on that is still less than 1, where I guess three is the line where start to worry if relying on blood tests. My levels before my liver resection was almost 200, so I am definitely one who gets tumor markers. I think maybe he meant that with surgery, you remove the tumors and can be somewhat sure you got the margins, and feel like you got all the cancer cells if margins are clear, whereas if relying on chemo or immunotherapy can never really be sure. I have to admit I was an emotional mess, so didn't grasp everything. I was mainly wanting to know if I could still live with this now that some is still there.

tanstaafl's picture
tanstaafl
Posts: 1292
Joined: Oct 2010

Additional clues on your liver and cancer status might be contained in CA199 ("pan can" marker), AFP (liver cancer marker), LDH, GGTP, PT/INR, cerruloplasmin, ferritin if you really want to investigate and talk about it.  We also get hsCRP and ESR to consider how much inflammation is affecting the markers. 

We then used mild drugs and high strength supplements added to oral chemo to dissolve or greatly shrink liver features over time. Click my avatar.

I might note others' various steps to liver operability have included HAI and advanced surgery in multiple steps at advanced cancer centers or with individual, outstandins doctors.

Twinzma
Posts: 216
Joined: Jan 2018

It sucks you are so young abita, BUT that does work in your favor tremendously. My husband is 55.

 

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 4906
Joined: Jan 2013

nothing on this earth can help you avoid the kind of shock you experience when the Doctor has the worst news.  I thought the same thing, telling myslef that it's too good to last, so that when the bad news came, I would be prepared. Well, that didn't happen. I felt like I had been punch by a giant, and then hit by a truck. 

Not that I advocate blindly going ahead thinking all will be well. Damn the Cancer! It is a never ending mind game. 

Saying that, I wish your husband well at his CT Scan, and that it doesn't light up like a Christmas tree. May you be ready for whatever comes your way; and I'm hoping its celebration time. I'll get my little dancing man ready.  

What date is the PET? I'l put it on my calendar, and send all the best vibes possible. 

Tru

abita's picture
abita
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Joined: Dec 2017

Pet scan is aug 28th, results that Friday. Thanks. I have been trying to figure out why I was so devastated. I was in the hall talking on the phone to a friend, and I guess my sobs were so loud that one of the secretaries came and got me and sat me on a chair with tissues while they finished the scheduling. I was on autopilot, went back to work, and that frined/colleague told me she would talk to my boss, so go home. I couldn't think of what to do. I had just gone back to work and was sitting at my desk, staring at my computer, trying not to cry.

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 4906
Joined: Jan 2013

and you must allow yourself all of the emotions that come with it; but don't let them drown you. 

I will be thinking of you on the 28th. I'm happy to hear that you don't have long to wait for the results; as that cuts down on some of the anxiety. 

We're all here for you. 

Tru

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6249
Joined: Feb 2009

It's not easy going through what you are.  Don't feel bad for someone overhearing your reactions or sobbing because you are concerned or worried.  Things have to be difficult right now, but wait until the scan and see what that reads. Praying that you have a good reading.

Kim

Twinzma
Posts: 216
Joined: Jan 2018

My husbands Pet Scan is scheduled on Sept 5th. Prayers and good vibes are always welcome! My birthday is the 8th and the only present I want is good news! 

 

 

abita's picture
abita
Posts: 658
Joined: Dec 2017

First: I pray that he sees improvement!

Second: Thank you for giving me hope. If he had 30 and some of them disappeared, then maybe that can happen for me too. I have 4, but they only scanned my liver. The pet scan will be all of me, and he seemed to be preparing me for seeing more.

 

What treatment made them disappear?

KM2Illinois
Posts: 11
Joined: May 2018

Maybe you could ask if you would be a candidate for the y90 treatment.  That’s the one where tiny radioactive beads are inserted next to liver tumors. They only do a part of the liver at a time. 

Hope everything goes well for you!

abita's picture
abita
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Joined: Dec 2017

Thanks. I will ask. I guess they have to see how much and where from the pet scan, then figure out the best approach. I will be sure to ask about that one. All he would say is there are many treatment options, but have to determine from pet scan before can know best aprroach. I thought I had mentally prepared myself in case a recurrence meant switching to "maintenance" mode so I could live longer, but the news was devastaing emotionally to me.

Ruthmomto4's picture
Ruthmomto4
Posts: 638
Joined: May 2013

anyone would say mets would not respond to chemo. I would  not take that as the last word on them, if they even are cancer. not to be negative but if they are too tiny they won’t show up on the pet scan. I hate that you are dealing with any of this, I was so happy your scan was good. It could still be nothing IF it’s not you are in nyc go to Sloan and see about that HAI pump. That’s exactly what it was created for. In the mean time try to live without them stressing you  too much, no matter what they are you are feeling good and it’s not a problem yet. The what if’s are only going to make you sick with worry.

abita's picture
abita
Posts: 658
Joined: Dec 2017

Thank you. I was so happy too. In that 6 days, I started exercising, cleaning apt, caring about my appearance, dieting, getting back to life! 

He was so cold to me, I actually did start thinking about getting opinion at Sloan Kettering

Twinzma
Posts: 216
Joined: Jan 2018

I don't know what it is like to be fighting this, but I do know what it's like living with a chronic illness. All I can say is find joy anywhere you can, tomorrow is not a guarantee for anyone. I lost a dear friend at 51, massive heart attack during routine surgery. Another, was in the shower and the shower head fell off and hit his leg, he bled to death. Who the Hell gets killed by a flipping shower head? A few years back there was an explosion at the Rhino plant near our house, a man managed to save a lot of collegues and was running from the flames and miislle propane tanks, He runs out into the road at 2 am to fleeing gets struck by a car. This road was hardly traveled during the day let alone 2 am. We don't know what tomorrow holds, enjoy today. LOVE today, LIVE today. And whatever you do, make sure the shower head is on tight! 

Ruthmomto4's picture
Ruthmomto4
Posts: 638
Joined: May 2013

you have to go through the scared sad part but then you will begin to be able to think of other things. Like how to fight this if it’s a recurrence. Honestly if they are too tiny they are not going to light up, it doesn’t mean they are not something. I would hate to see them say pet scan was clear only to have them grow and then be harder to treat. Please consider a second opinion, and remember liver  mets that are inoperable can become operable, there is always ablation, and the hai pump at Sloan is exactly what this was created for. My sweet cat loving friend you don’t get to give up yet!!! I am thinking of you!

you should still do all things you started doing! The better you feel the easier and harder you can fight, anything less you let cancer control you. Don’t do that!

abita's picture
abita
Posts: 658
Joined: Dec 2017

Thank you! That is exactly the kind of hope I needed my doctor to give me. I am slowly getting my head in a bigger space. The constant crying has stopped, mostly from the encouragement here that I still have a chance.

peterz54's picture
peterz54
Posts: 345
Joined: Feb 2012

PET/CT done in combination will give the resolution of CT combined with the PET advantage of spotting glycolitic tissue.    As you know, if tumors shrink too much they may simply be below the sensitivity of the imaging system, but still be present.   

 

Have you looked at adding dietary measures to your regime?   You might search out oncologist Dr. Dawn Lemanne and Dr Colin Champ.  They are oncologists who advocate adding dietary measures to standard of care.  certain dietary measure have been shown in some studies to be helpful.

Here is a presentation by Dr. Lemanne:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_diITmOeCM&t=594s

 

myAZmountain
Posts: 282
Joined: Apr 2018

I mentioned diet and supplements to my Oncologist --His snarkiy reply was "If sugar caused cancer every diabetic would have cancer" which is so ridiculous. Why are some docs so dismissive of the role of diet and supplements? I mean why not integrate as much healing power possible ? He also saw no utility in checking B=12, even though I had most of my termonal ileum removed which is vital to B12 absorption. So I take alot of supplements and stick to a healing diet, screw him. 

peterz54's picture
peterz54
Posts: 345
Joined: Feb 2012

Even Sidhhartha Mukherjee,  the oncologist famous for the book and PBS series "The Emporer of All Maladies" has recently stated that it makes sense that diet affects the course of cancer and plans to undergo a study on this issue in Great Britain

The Guardian article:   

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/jul/06/top-oncologist-to-study-effect-of-diet-on-cancer-drugs

No mention of research in the US by Profs  Valter Longo and Thomas Seyfried,  or clinical experience by oncologists who are already adding dietary measures to standard of care.

It bugs me that insulin, which is upstream of some of the genes and and protein complexes which are being targted by drug ccompanies for their anti-cancer effect when down regulated, is not routinely measure in cancer patients and no effort is made to keep insulin at the very low end of the reference range, or even lower.   Same with HbA1c, which is followed in diabteic patients, why not track and use dietary meassure, which work, to bring HhA1c to low normal in T2D patients who also have cancer.

 

Butt's picture
Butt
Posts: 325
Joined: May 2018

Be sure you see the surgeon because it would be his or her call on the surgery. There are Y 90, TACE and pump that can fix it. Also ablation. Butt.

abita's picture
abita
Posts: 658
Joined: Dec 2017

The surgeon is presenting my present case to some meeting of liver surgeons for ideas.

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