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Just found out I have HCC cancer, 3cm single lesion, may decide not to treate at all

Posts: 13
Joined: Oct 2009

Found out I have HCC cancer, single 3cm lesion on right lobe. I also have mild and early cirrhosis due to HVB. My surgeon said that I am qualified for resection but there is 10% chance of liver failure after surgery and 5 year survival rate after surgery is only about 30 to 40%, which means a high chance of recurring. I read that non-treatment 5 year survival rate is comparable to resection. So far my AFT and CEA level are normal and there is no sign of cancer spreading and otherwise I am healthy. I am leaning toward not treating it with Chemo, surgery or radiation and try changing my diet and fight this thru improving my immune system. Anyone has gone thru the same conclusion? I appreciate any feed back.

soccerfreaks's picture
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

I am a survivor, Jim. Twice. Even so, I know nothing about HCC. I know nothing about HVB. I know nothing, in fact, about AFT and CEA. Nothing. I could look them up, I know, but they will do me no good.

I am a survivor. That I know. First go-round, they found squamous cell cancer in my tongue along with lymph nodes in my neck. They replaced half of my tongue with stuff from my arm, and they did a radical neck dissection. This took about 15 hours, or so I've been told. Following that, I was in an induced coma for four days. Following release from the hospital, I went through chemotherapy in conjunction with 33 radiation treatments. I survived.

All was good.

That was early in 2006. In June of '07, based on results of a scan, they told me I had 10 months to live, give or take some time. They told me that the cancer had spread to my lungs and was pervasive. They were wrong, but only in the important areas (:)). I did have a growing node in my right lung, but the rest of what they saw was merely an infection that went away.

Sorry to bore you with that, Jim. Here is what I am getting at: when my neighbor found out I had lung cancer, as neighbors are prone to do somehow, she came over to enlighten me that she suffered from lung cancer as well. She was going to drink green tea (among other things) to resolve the issue and enouraged me to do the same. Her brother, she opined, had died from his chemo while trying to survive pancreatic cancer or some such, and she wanted nothing to do with it.

She drank the green tea. I had a lobectomy followed by much more chemotherapy.

I am NED (No Evidence of Disease). I guess it's a year now, now that I think about it, almost two.

She died within six months of our meeting.

I throw that out there, Jim, while knowing that you have a very difficult decision to make for yourself. I was born without an expiration date on my forehead; I know enough of statistics to know that every statistic, basically, relies on the mean at the expense of the nadir and the apex. I prefer to think of myself as a high-end figure in those statistical charts, and I act accordingly. If I am proven wrong, I will have given it my best shot.

Still, I know that you have a tough decision to make.

Best wishes with whatever course you take.

Take care,

Posts: 13
Joined: Oct 2009

Thank you for your reply, it was very touching and inspiring. You are very courages, your story has given me some hope and make me look at fighting cancer from a different angle.

Posts: 3
Joined: Oct 2009

Dear Jim, I would give everything if only mu husband had same diagnosis as you. Please do not leave tumor untreated. HCC is very aggressive cancer and since liver is like a sponge full of blood it tents to grow very fast and blooms like a flower in weeks, do not let it get to it. I recommend chemo, my husband is going thru a chmoembolization treatment, doctors trying to kill tumors, because they grow so fast. Chemoambulizations is very affective.If surgery is recommended to you it is a good option, liver regenerates itself and since it a very large organ it will manage to do it's job. One thing I know Jim, HCC is unpredictable, take action. My husbands AFP have gone up by 1000.00 in 2 weeks period that's how aggressive the tumors are.
I wish you all the luck....Maka

offutt9's picture
Posts: 88
Joined: Jan 2004

I am a liver cancer survivor of 6 1/2 years. Angiosarcoma of the liver. Lessions are in the blood vessels of my liver, thus making it a very rare cancer. I was given 3 months to live in 2003....I had RFA done...Radio Frequency Ablation. Overnite stay in hospital and back to work in a week. Please check on this procedure.. But most importantly, keep the faith,,God is Good... Please read my webpage called Miracle In Work..God Bless...Barbara

Posts: 10
Joined: Nov 2009

You must seek out some type of treatment otherwise you can count your days! It is hard esp if you feel good. I have stage 4 melanoma in my liver and Dr’s have given me no hope. I have done extensive research to try to save my life not just for me but for my wife & 5 year old son. I have been to two of the highest rated research hospitals in the country. TAKE ACTION NOW. I am setting up Cyberknife to get the tumor, followed by chemo and high dose intravenous vit c infusions. I hope that will knock the “you know what” out of it! Please for your sake don’t just sit back and listen to what the Dr’s statistics are. They are WRONG allot of the time! Get moving and do not loose HOPE. Fight the good fight and just maybe you will be a testimony of hope to others in the future! Orders are… move fast and look to the future. Get tons of help from websites and friends that are willing to be a support to you. You can beat this but you have to take the first step and mentally decide you will fight it!


Posts: 46
Joined: Apr 2010


I seriously hope you reconsidered you decision not treat. What you currently have 80%+ diagnosed with HCC wish that was their case!!! You have one relatively small tumor that is isolated. HCC is very aggressive and before you know it that single small tumor can be 8cm, 10cm, 14cm or now 2,3, 6 tumors and now your options just slid right on out the window as you're no longer a candidate for most procedures. I know its a decision you have to make but I would jump at the surgery, RF ablation or something to get rid of it early before it becomes an uncontrollable nightmare of regret.

Maintake extract was suggested to me by a herbalist at a major cancer hospital for primary HCC also major diet change; count on lots of veggies, fruit, whole grains, fish....low sugar, low sodium, low processed foods, etc..etc that has has me feel better but dont think it did anything for the tumors yet...

Best wishes in your journey

Posts: 46
Joined: Apr 2010

BTW I dont know where you read untreating HCC had a comparable 5 year survival as resection or treatment as that sure isnt the case! Count on a year or two at best without treatment

Posts: 6
Joined: Apr 2010

Jim, Just wondering how things are going with you. My husband was diagnosed with a 3 cm HCC in Nov. 2009. The doctor decided on radiofrequency ablation, as my husband also has cirrohsis and Hep C. They thought if they could kill that tumor, he would be a candidate for transplant. Not so. After the RFA treatment, his MRI in March showed 10 tumors in the right lobe, and 1 in the left. Now our options had become very limited. He had a theraspheres treatment on the right lobe May 5, and they were able to treat 4 of the 10 tumors. His MRI last week showed that the tumors are still growing, and not much response to the treatment. Nevertheless, we are going ahead with therasphers on the left lobe for one 4 - 5 cm tumor. Hopefully, it will help this time. He is also taking Nexavar, which is supposedly a very powerful cancer drug. Two pills, twice a day. So far, no serious side effects. At our appointment June 29, the doctor told me he had 3 - 6 months, and I think that is with or without the treatment. I am not going to tell him. Right now he feels great, and he is doing everything he wants to do. I am going to go ahead with the treatment, and let him enjoy what time he has left. He does not realize how sick he is because he still feels fairly good. I guess my point is, that you never know how your body will respond to the treatment. What works for some, doesn't always work for everyone, but life is worth a try if there is the smallest chance that it might prolong your time with loved ones. We aren't going down without a fight.

debbiejeanne's picture
Posts: 3095
Joined: Jan 2010

A friend was just diagnosed with liver and colon cancer, stage 4. Can someone tell me if that can be survived or not. I know the docs can't overpower God's plan but wanted to know what the survivor rate is as best known. I'd appreciate any reponses. Thank you in advance.

tonyaskate's picture
Posts: 3
Joined: Oct 2010

I have hcc cancer and had a 17cm tumor on my right lobe of my liver. I do not have cirrhosis or hepatis. I did have surgery to remove the tumor and did chemotherapy for 7 mos. I just recently got scanned and it has mets to my lungs. So I to will be trying to change my diet and an boost my immune system. I work out 4-5 days a week and get 7-8 hrs of sleep. I understand you not wanting to do nothing, however my tumor was originally 4-5cm I waited 1 yr and 8 mos by that time it grew to 17cm , it was as big as my baby which was 17.9 cm long at birth.

Be careful about not doing surgery, I wished i had removed the tumor when it was very small, because it was initially biopsis at benign a year later it transformed to malignant. Make sure you monitor it ..

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