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More surgery

CanadaSue's picture
Posts: 340
Joined: Apr 2006

Hi all,

A little history:

Hubby dx'ed Jan 06 - surgery to remove colon
Apr 06 surgery to remove the tumor and most of the plumbing,
hot chemo washes, and a permenet illiostomy, followed by 9
rounds of folfuri. Mar 08 more surgery to remove the bladder
and prostrate -permenet illioconduit. Two tumors were found in
the liver, there is also now a spot on his diaphragm, and one in
the upper lung - these are approximately 4mm each. They are not
worrying about the spots right now. We saw a liver surgeon on
Tuesday, and the 2 tumors are close together, and they are able to
remove that part of the liver. The hospital called yesterday, and
surgery has been set for Monday morning. The surgeon did say that
if he can see the spot on the diaphragm that he will remove it as well.
We were told that this being his 4th major surgery, that this will be
the last surgery they will be able to do.

My question is what options are there for dealing with the lung and
diaphragm mets other than chemo?

The fight continues!

My thoughts and prayers are with you all!



PhillieG's picture
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

sorry this is still going on but it's good that your hubby is a fighter. One possible option could be a RFA - Radio Frequency Ablation where they stick a needle in the tumor and basically fry it. It can not be done all the time but sometimes it is an option. It's a walk in the park as far as procedures go.

CherylHutch's picture
Posts: 1399
Joined: Apr 2007

Sue... I'm not sure of the options with the diaphragm... I must admit I don't have any experience with that. As for any mets to the lung or liver, another option like Phil mentioned is RFA.

Since you say there is only one met in the upper lung, then from an RFA perspective, that is very good. They won't necessarily suggest RFA for multiple mets, but if there are only one or two, this could very well be an option. The procedure is amazing. Like Phil says... with the assistance of a CAT scan machine, the interventional radiologist inserts a needle (somewhat like the ones they use for lung biopsies) into the tumour... and then this little claw (like an inverted umbrella without the fabric) encircles the tumour. They then zap the tumour within this claw with radio frequency waves and it zaps it until there's nothing left but scar tissue... leaving the surrounding tissue totally untouched.

Seriously... I was blown away by the whole procedure. I went in at 8am, was put under a general anesthetic at 10am, was awake in Recovery by 1pm... taken up to a room where I had been told I'd have to stay overnight at the hospital because of the general anesthetic as well, for observation. They do an xray 4 hours after the procedure to see that there are no leaks or damage, etc... mine was perfectly fine. I was totally awake and as alert as I normally am... so my radiologist saw no point me hanging around the hospital overnight and discharged me at 5pm. This procedure replaced a lung surgery which I would have been in the hospital for 6 days and then 6 weeks of recovery. Heck, I could have gone shopping or to the movies that same evening... I was perfectly fine :)

Now... the catch is... there aren't a lot of interventional radiologists who do this procedure. Lung RFAs are relatively new and first were done in 2003. So you might want to ask your oncologist who in your area performs these.

I just asked on another thread what a "VAT" procedure is. I have not heard of that one, but it is to do with lung mets.



CanadaSue's picture
Posts: 340
Joined: Apr 2006

Thanks Phil and Cheryl,

Once this liver surgery is over and done with I will look into this. I am sure someone here in Alberta must do it. If not we are willing to travel to Vancouver if we must. When it comes down to it, I will get more information from you Cheryl.

We never even knew there was a spot on the lung until the liver surgeon told us...... Not to impressed with our onc at the moment.

Thanks for your responses I feel a little more at ease now.



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