Liver Tumor is Malignant

A Pet/CT confirmed that the 1 inch tumor found in my liver on the 4th Cat scan since my Esophagus surgery in Dec 2010 is malignant. At Mass General they are convinced that it is stage 4 esophageal adenocarcinoma in the liver. Initially I was told that chemo with Folfox was a high possibility, but their top liver surgeon, Kenneth Tanabe, met with me and is convinced he can remove the tumor and believes he can do it laposcopically. My Pet/Ct was on 1/26, meeting with Oncologist on 1/30, a Brain MRI on 1/31 which was clean and a meeting with the surgeon on 2/3 so Mass General definitely jumped on my case. The liver tumor in on the top left (segment 7) and I was told that since there is a redundency of functions in the liver that it could be safely removed. The surgery is scheduled for Feb 22nd.

Since my original battle with cancer staged as T3N1M0, hearing that I was now stage 4 because of the spread was scary, but now that surgery is going to take place I am cautiously optomistic.

Since adenocarcinoma cannot be detected with blood tests or with cat scans until it is big enough to see, there is no telling if this will be the last of my problems. The surgeon is convinced that the cancer spread through the bloodstream in 2010 when it was detected in my esophagus, but was not caught then because it was too small to detect. It did not show up on my first 3 Cat scan after surgery, then on the 4th, there it was.

At times people are looking for stage 4 survivors and not all stage 4's are the same. If this tumor would have been found at the same time as the tumor in my esophagus, two surgeries would not be an option. Another point is that my chemo (Cisplatin and 5-FU did not kill the liver cancer) which is not comforting.

After the surgery they will decide if I have chemo at that time. Cross your fingers for me. Here we go again!


  • TerryV
    TerryV Member Posts: 887
    Positive thoughts and Prayers for you, Gatoraid
    I'm so sorry to hear of the confirmation. But so delighted to hear that surgery is a consideration for this spread.

    Glad you have a good medical team working with you!

    Love & Hugs,

    wife to Nick, age 48
    dx 05/19/11 T3N1M0
    THE 09/08/11
    Clean Path 09/13/11
  • llamp0922
    llamp0922 Member Posts: 40
    Hi Jim,
    I have been waiting

    Hi Jim,

    I have been waiting to hear your update, hoping and praying for good news. I am saddened to hear that the mass is malignant, but I have faith that you will be a stage four survivor! Mass General is pretty quick about getting the ball rolling regarding testing and treatment. That is one of the strengths of the oncology program. The team of physicians are also cutting edge. When I was wrapping up treatment at MGH, my surgeon was exploring the possibility of reconstruction (if necessary) of my damaged trachea with an experimental transplant involving a sheep aorta. Thankfully, it wasn't needed, but the team always had something else in the toolbox for my inoperable EC.

    I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Remember the power of being positive! People do beat this disease, and you will, too!

    Peace, Love and Positive Thoughts!
  • Wife of patient 50378
    Here we go again....Hang in there!
    Hi Jim, sorry to hear the latest development. Keep your chin up! Jim, you are a survivor. Stong positive thoughts to you!
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  • Tina Blondek
    Tina Blondek Member Posts: 1,500 Member
    Thinking of You
    Hey Gatoraid
    Congrats first of all for doing so well with the EC. Now onto the liver. I am happy to read that the surgeon is willing to do surgery to remove your liver tumor. You are very fortunate. My dad had EC went for chemo and radiation, went into remission, then it went to his liver, and that was the end. No chemo no rads, no surgery. Having surgery is the best way to get rid of the cancer. Then follow up chemo if needed. Sounds to me like Mass General has a great plan. Best of luck on the 22nd. We will be thinking of you. Keep in touch.
    Tina in Va
  • sandy1943
    sandy1943 Member Posts: 824
    So sorry to hear about the
    So sorry to hear about the reoccurance; it's what we all that are NEd are afraid of.
    I'm praying the doctors will use caution and no matter what they do it will be the treatment that will put a stage IV in permanent remission.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you' Sandra
  • Gatoraid
    Gatoraid Member Posts: 66
    unknown said:

    This comment has been removed by the Moderator

    The surgery First Option
    A meeting was held with the entire team which included Christopher Morse and kenneth Tanabe. Inintially I was told the treatment was going to be 3 months of Folfox and Radiofrequency Embolation (killing the tumor with heat. theraspheres werew also discussed but mass general felt that they would have better results with their approach.

    the reason for their change in direction is that the liver has alot of redundancy in its functions and you can do without Segment 7 and still be fully functional. Dr Tanabe felt that given my condition (strong with no symptoms yet) and the fact that he could take it out using MIE that the best approach was to go directly to surgery fast. Given its location they ruled against a biopsy because they were affraid that they would spread the cancer and there was risk of puncturing a lung. The current approach with surgery first and most likely Folfox afterward appears to be an aggressive approach that gives me the best chance.

    It's important to remember that my 2 rounds of chemo with Cisplatin and 5-FU did not kill these cells which continued to grow to the size that they are now. Dr Tanabe has an outstanding reputation and I have total faith in Mass General and my cancer team.

    With this approach I have hope. Initially all I thought that I had was 5 - 12 months left.

    Thanks for your thoughts. When Dr. Morse agreed with this approach, that was my second opinion.