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Elevated Liver Enzymes and nervous

Posts: 7
Joined: Dec 2010

Hi fellow board members...I wanted to get some advice if I could. My mom just finished her 6th chemo treatment today! WooHoo! Now we can start the count DOWN until she is done in June! She has been handling the chemo pretty well...she gets all the normal side effects that she was told she would get, but has claimed it to NOT be unbearable yet so she trudges on along her journey. Well, today when she went in, they advised her that her liver enzymes are elevated. Up until now, all her blood work has come back in range except for a tad of anemia. So, this came as a shock to her and got her all upset. She was told everything else was perfect, but her AST was 44 and her ALT was 85 both being higher than the normal range. The doc says that its normal for chemo to cause this....but it still makes my mom unsettled, as she is really afraid of the cancer spreading. As of now, there is NO tumor or even lesion to watch, as the doc has told her she is on preventative chemo, but she was a stage IIIA and it makes her nervous, and me too! I thought the best place to vent and ask questions was here...so has anyone else had this happen and everything be fine? After she got home, (my bro was with her today, not me) I asked her some questions and she did have 3 glasses of wine 3 days before her blood test...so not sure if that could have caused the elevation? We are gonna ask the doc when we go in next...

Any advice would be awesome!

Although I dont post much, I am on here constantly reading and praying for everyone. This site has been wonderful for both my mom, (va-beekeeper) and I. We have come here for answers and just to see if what she is experiencing is "normal"! Everyone has helped us more than they will ever know, and I thank you.


geotina's picture
Posts: 2122
Joined: Oct 2009

Listen to your doc, generally, blood work has its ups and downs. What is her CEA and is it a good indicator for her? I highly doubt 3 glasses of wine 3 days before a test is the culprit. She has chemo running through her system and more than likely that is the culprit.

Take care = Tina

pepebcn's picture
Posts: 6352
Joined: Aug 2010

much higher than this while on folfox!
Tell her to be calmed not problem at all six round are quite a lot so some special effects use to appear .
Cheer up.

Posts: 965
Joined: Nov 2008

Tell your mom not to worry. I have had elevated AST, ALT, Bilirubin and Alkaline Phosphatase since I started chemo (in 2008). I have been off all chemo since November 2009 and I still take medication to try and bring my numbers down. And my numbers are high. All of them (but bilirubin) are at least double normal range. My doctor said it's from chemo and/or my liver resection. She is hoping that they eventually come down but it's not something that gets her worried. When I had 5 liver mets in my liver those numbers were all perfectly normal. So tell her not to worry and pay attention more to the CEA and to scans than to the enzymes.

Hope this helps,

Posts: 7
Joined: Dec 2010

for the advice! Her CEA was .9 and It has remained low like that the whole time. Im not sure if that is an indicator for her or not...but it has always been low like that!

pepebcn's picture
Posts: 6352
Joined: Aug 2010

when had liver mets than now that I'm on chemo! so keep cool.

Annabelle41415's picture
Posts: 6682
Joined: Feb 2009

Heck mine was so over normal on every level and my oncologist just said, yup your body just doesn't like this chemo and no human body does. Never was concerned and it took me a long time for my levels to go back to the high normal range. I've been off chemo for over a year and they are just now getting back into the normal ranges. Common it is. Also, my red/white blood counts are way down so if this happens don't be concerned. Hope this helps.


luvmylife's picture
Posts: 80
Joined: Jun 2010

Thank you everyone - Jimmys alkaline phosphatase has been elevated and it has had me worried. He is on folfiri w/avastin. But after reading your history, I feel much better and more confident that it could be due to the chemo.

Thanks again,


Sonia32's picture
Posts: 1078
Joined: Mar 2009

Don't really need to add anything else, everyone has covered it. But can assure you it is the chemo, it can still effect you liver even months after finishing it. I know I've gone through it all, and everyone on here told me the same thing. My csn family actually know more then your average doctor or onc. :-). I'm glad your here.


pete43lost_at_sea's picture
Posts: 3908
Joined: Nov 2010

Hi Jenn,

if you read the descriptions of ast alt etc you will get a better idea.

my alt is 62 and ast 61 and ggt 115 , not within guidelines, but ok with onc and nurses.

so I got my 11th folfox today.

I have her book about the liver, its like a bible. Its been the focus of diet to have the best blood filter possible. She recommends milk thistle as well.

You may enjoy the read, I cerainly did, I credit sandra cabot with helping my take healthy easy natural choices. Our liver is the ORGAN, lets keep it functioning well.

A super healthy liver maybe a good tool against metastatasis in the liver. better blood flow, better/healthier enzyme mix. this would be an interesting study to see if a correlation exists between enzyme numbers and colorectal tumour growth in the liver.

Anyone heard of this ? Interested in all comments for and against and in between.

I wonder. Just some hypothesis I dreamed up while on dex. Ironic if I was onto something and the dex helped find an answer.



Posts: 210
Joined: Aug 2008

i am stage IIIa as well. T1 tumor 1 node diagnosed in july of 2008. i have had elevated liver enzymes as well during chemo and has remained that way since i ended chemo in 2009. she shouldnt worry. it is normal. stage IIIa with chemo has the same prognosis as stage 1 with no chemo.

elaineG's picture
Posts: 20
Joined: Oct 2010

This is of interest to me as my liver results have been 'deranged', and have not returned to their levels before surgery/chemo (I've just finished my 6 month regime). Does anyone know if the term 'deranged' means the same as what people have been talking about here. I'm frightened to look it up on the internet. My CEA is ok, according to my oncologist. She says she isn't worried about my liver results, saying it's common when on chemo but has ordered a blood test from my GP in 6 weeks (rather than the usual 3 monthly at this point), so that got me a bit concerned...

Incidentally, I am stage 3, with 3 out of 21 lymph nodes affected.


Posts: 57
Joined: Sep 2008

Thank you all for posting information concerning blood levels in reference to chemo. My hubby is on Votrient for kidney cancer. He has been on it now for only 6 weeks. Last week his enzymes were somewhat elevated and the kidney cancer specialist told him to keep taking it. This week his levels went up higher. The dilemna we have is that his specialist is out of town right now-and although the office said the nurse will call us back we have not heard from her. Hubby is also under the care of a (regular) local oncologist-he recommended stopping the Votrient until the liver enzymes go down.

  My question is-what do they do with a person taking the chemo meds UNTIL and IF the enzymes decrease? Do they reduce the dosage, stop the meds and then reduce dosage, or one week on and one week off regimen? I know everyone is different -I am just trying to get some ideas on this whie the specialist is gone for a bit, and I know this is NOT a replacement for medical advice. I am mostly concerned because hubby has had limited side effects from Votrient, surprisingly, and we are hoping he wont have to go on a different targeted chemo drug. Thanks in advance for any help.

Trubrit's picture
Posts: 5378
Joined: Jan 2013

This is a very old thread, and a few of the members who have posted have passed on, others haven't posted for years.  Try posting a new thread https://csn.cancer.org/forum/128 and ask you question there.  This is also the Colorectal Cancer page. Maybe you could post on the Kidney Cancer page https://csn.cancer.org/forum/142


Lisa M's picture
Lisa M
Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2017

hi Tru


i recently had all three liver enzymes elevated ; first time thru entire process; 55 AST, 58 ALT, 296 Alk Phos... The following week only Alk Phos is only one elevated; other two back to normal


i hope this helps

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