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Radiofrequency Ablation

Posts: 114
Joined: Mar 2004

First, thanks to all who responded to my first post. Reading through a number of past posts, I now have a more optomistic outlook.

My new oncologist who seems open to any and all treatments available, had me do a MRI and PET scan and wants me to see a speacilist here in Portland, OR tomorrow. He said this speacilist will tell me if I am a candidate for liver ressection, or if not he also does radiofrequency ablation. I have been on a number of websites which seem to tout RFA. Has anyone had this procedure? Another probably dumb question, if this procedure works, why can't they do it everytime a recurrence to the liver shows up?

Posts: 24
Joined: Aug 2003

Radiofrequency ablation is an effective treatment, but done only when resection is not possible. I was diagnosed with Stage III (4/32 nodes) in 10/01. I had 6 months of the standard 5F/U and when my CEA did not go back to normal 3 months later, a CT showed a single liver lesion. I underwent successful resection in 9/02 and things have been "stable" since. I did however, also have another 6 months of chemo - 3 months of FOLFOX alternating with 3 months FOLFiRi.
At that time, which now seems like the dark ages (18months ago!), the standard of treatment after resection was watchful waiting - i.e. no chemo. That did not suit me, so I sought out an oncologist who agreed aggressive treatment was necessary for this 43 year mother of 4 boys.
Today, most competent liver surgeons/oncologists would treat you with chemo (oxaliplatin as FOLFOX), watch for the tumors to shrink, and then resect anything left over.

Key points for you are to see if the tumors are resectable. The fact that there are more then one in your liver should be no roadblock. It is also very, very important to talk to more than one source - no matter how much you like your treating physicians.

Good Luck

Posts: 232
Joined: Apr 2003

That is great to hear that your oncologist is proactive.

There are no dumb questions- ask away. Knowledge is a great weapon in this battle. Although I have no personal experience with RFA, I have heard of people having had recurrent nodules in their liver treated with RFA. I think that there are limitations if there are lots of small nodules, or if a nodule is extremely close to a large bile duct or blood vessel.

Posts: 20
Joined: Apr 2004

After being very recently diagnosed with colorectal cancer, my CAT scan showed mets on my liver and lungs, definatlye stage IV. I met with an oncologist who was less than encouraging. Basically said all he could do is give me a few more months to live. Since I'm also in the Portland OR area, I would definately appreciate any information you may be able to give me on the specialist who could take a look at me for liver ressection and / or RFA. Before making my last will & testimony, I want to seek out any possible second opinions and options.

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