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HCC with HepC and Cirrohsis just had a resection

Posts: 3
Joined: Dec 2011

I feel so blessed to have accidentally found this small spot of cancer. While in the process of starting the new HepC drug, my doctor did an endoscopy and noticed a spot on my liver which turned out to be the very beginning of cancer. The spot was small 8mm and the alpha feta protein was 118.
He immediately scheduled the liver resection and due to the fact that this was on the back of the liver by the lung and kidney, they used DeVinci to assist with the surgery. My platelets were very low at 60 and I was borderline operable due to the complications from the HepC and cirrhosis. They removed a golf ball size of my liver and sent it to pathology with it returning negative of cancer in any surrounding tissues. So i was discharged 100% cancer free.
Now getting over the resection is not the easiest thing for a person to deal with. It seems to have happened in a whirlwind. One day i am working 24/7 and at the top of the world and the next thing I know I am having surgery on my liver which has caused me to be tired more easily. I am also eating more proteins and drinking more water and starting to walk on a treadmill some....or will be forcing myself to start walking on the treadmill soon. I am forcing myself to gain back the weight I lost and almost back to normal. I am tender still but things are getting easier and better each day, so i must say i am making good progress coming back from it. About 3 weeks after the resection, I started coming back to life again with leaps and bounds...sleeping a lot, but sleep is good when you need it. I've been kind of listening to my body but also trying to be aware that it could be a little depression seeping in.

I have to say that I don't know how in the world I was lucky enough to discover this at such an early stage but I am thankful to God for whatever it was that moved me to seek a liver specialist out of state.

Now my worry remains, if the CT will be clean in February and when will it return. I worry that the Hep C drug will not work and will not stop the progression of the cirrhosis. I guess the wild card to the HCC is the Hep C problem coupled with the cirrhosis.

I know there have got to be others that have the same issues as I do. I had no signs of anything wrong with me in the world. My liver function studies were normal and i knew i had cirrhosis but I didn't over indulge or drink much. I never had one clue that there was anything wrong. i was a hyperactive workaholic ----this has been a huge life change.

I am just wondering what is there to do next? I am hoping to take the new Hep C drug in February to stop the progress of the cirrhosis from the HepC which could stop the potential progress or development of any HCC. I don't know though.......I am just guessing that is what they are trying to do.

I want things to get better and I don't know what to do. I am going to an excellent liver specialist and liver oncology specialist. They are superb.

This has been a huge life change.

LeeandShirley's picture
Posts: 122
Joined: Apr 2011

So happy for you to find this cancer early. I was wondering if the surgeon has offered you chemo after the surgery? My husband had a similar surgery 15 months ago, and they said he had good margins and was cancer free also. Unfortunately 7 months later after being monitored by CAT scans every 3 months, his cancer had returned and spread outside the liver and was stage 4 and incurable. Because of his experience, I would recommend, if they offer chemo or discuss it in any way, I would do it. Better to catch those few stray cells early too. Please do not be allarmed by my husbands experience, as every cancer is an individual matter. Just a word of advice. Surgeons tend to be satisfied with doing surgery and are not necessarily cancer specialists. Maybe a second opinion with a comprehensive cancer center would be wise also. Good luck and have a Happy and healthy New Year.

Posts: 20
Joined: Sep 2011

Shirley: I am sorry to hear about your husbands cancer returning.
It is surprising that it returned and spread in only 3 months!

I was told by a Heptologist that I should be on Nexavar to catch any free cells.
So I made an appointment with a Oncologist and he agreed with not putting me on any meds.
So here I am, wondering what if?

I sure hope next year is better


Posts: 20
Joined: Sep 2011

Hello: I also recently had a liver resection (Oct 5), my tumor was 16cm, I was also discharged cancer free but HCC does has a high rate of reoccurance.
I was clean on my first CT scan on Dec 5, so I have to go back in 4 months.
So I came back to work just to keep my mind off it...

I was very concerned that they did not put me on any Nexavar or chemo but they said
not unless it returns. Different doctors have different opinons.
The sonagram I had last Jan missed my tunor and by time I knew what was happening it was August and it was very big, but luckally they were able to remove it. Then I contacted a Heptologist and he said he would not treat me for my Hep C until I was 1 year cancer free...I am 53 and I never had any warning signs until last summer when I felt this lump beneath my left rib. My genotype if 3a and I dont see much in the way of clical trials going on right now...
Good Luck and feel free to write me

Posts: 61
Joined: Feb 2011

I was diagnosed with Hep-C in 2004, probably infected via the air gun inoculations prior to my Vietnam service. I did interferon for 6 months and was removed from it due to the side affects. 6 months later I was back on maximum dosage for 48 months-Geneotype 1A. Cleared the virus in late 2005. No signs of cancer until Dec. 2006 and underwent resection for (2) 3.5cm tumors, one on the portal vein in Jan 07. Pathology said I had free margin. No followup chemo, etc. In Dec 2009 had a recurrence and it was removed in January of 2010 via RFA. Now 2 years later and I just completed another MRI with no new tumors. It is a highly recurrent cancer and you will need to be watched at least every 6 months for the rest of your life. However, don't be alarmed by this fact, instead embrace the knowledge, learn everything and enjoy everyday you have. I am now a 5 year survivor and if it's God's plan, you will be too. I go to the University of Michigan which is a comprehensive Cancer center and they pay close attention to the new technologies and I do participate in any pertinent study they ask me to. If you don't get the answers to the questions you have, then run to another doctor/hospital who will help you to learn to live with this disease and to fight it all the way. Good luck.

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