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Thread: Is there any hope for liver cancer?

  1. #1

    Is there any hope for liver cancer?

    My uncle John has been diagnosed with liver cancer about 2 months ago. Up until then he was a very active 65 year old man (golfer, bowler). He & my Aunt are trying to figure out what course of action to take from here. He has been undergoing chemo treatments (which he is being told are not working) for about 7 weeks now. The treatments along with a secondary tumor that has appeared at the base of his esophogus (sp.) has left him very week and hardly able to swallow. They have ruled out surgery as an option so basically they are giving him less than 2 months to live. Does anyone know of treatments, even treatments abroad, that could possibly help shrink the tumors? Is there a possibility of a transplant if he went abroad? He has been going to Barnes-Jewish Hospital in STL, which which we have been told is one of the best cancer centers in the US. Any info would be very much appreciated.

    Stanrock
    My uncle has liver cancer that he is undergoing chemotherapy for but is doing no good at all. They are literally giving him less than 2 months to live. He is/was a very healthy non-smoking 65 year old man who has always been very active. Does anyone know of treatment other than conventional chemo even if it's abroad that can help him?

  2. #2
    Administrator Top User brainman's Avatar
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    stanrock, I am very sorry about your uncle's advanced Liver Cancer. To answer your initial question, I could say that there is always hope. However, I do not know what the prognosis is for Liver Cancer. There really is only one option for him in terms of treatment. Since it has already spread, the only thing that will help is some form of chemotherapy. Again, I do not know much about Liver Cancer. I do know that most chemos damage the liver so it is tricky to find the right one that works but does not hurt the liver too much.

    Barns-Jewish is indeed a good center but not the best. In a ranking done by US News, Barns-Jewish was rated 21. http://tinyurl.com/68mx33 . Having said that, I do not think that your uncle needs to go anywhere else. Barns-Jewish certainly is a excellent cancer center.

    You and your uncle are in my thoughts and prayers.
    Jim
    Long-term cancer survivor
    1992 Astrocytoma grade 2, left motor strip
    2005 Recurrence this time said to be an Oligodendroglioma grade 3, same location.
    http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=2405
    My Story Part 1: http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=2528
    My Story Part 2: http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?p=7350
    My Story Part 3: http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=8029

  3. #3
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    stanrock,

    You might want to look into one of the radiosurgery treatments such as Cyberknife or Gammaknife. I have no idea if one of these could be helpful in your particular case but they are somtimes used in cases where actual surgery is not possible. They can shrink and even kill the tumors in some cases. My liver tumors are not eligible for traditional surgery but I had Cyberknife a couple of months ago. I don't go in for follow-up for about a month but I'm doing well so far.

    These procedures are not available everywhere because the equipment is very expensive and only a few cancer centers have installed them. I think they have them at M.D. Anderson in Houston. They also have them at Baylor in Dallas where I had my procedure.

    Good luck.
    Andy
    Andy Hummel

  4. #4

    liver cancer

    TO STANROCK

    To stanrock sounds to me like your uncle needs to evaluated for transplant & listed. That's what i just did. They gave me the milan meld for hcc. Now i can have t.a.c.e. done to shrink the tumors

  5. #5

    Very helpful

    Thank you all so very much for your kind words of encouragement. I will relay the information that you all have provided me to my uncle so that he can make more informed decisions on his future treatment. Everything you all told me, I was unaware of so it's already been a great help.

    Thanks,
    stanrock
    My uncle has liver cancer that he is undergoing chemotherapy for but is doing no good at all. They are literally giving him less than 2 months to live. He is/was a very healthy non-smoking 65 year old man who has always been very active. Does anyone know of treatment other than conventional chemo even if it's abroad that can help him?

  6. #6

    reply to brainman

    Thanks "brainman" for the ranking of Barnes-Jewish. I was not aware of such a ranking system. My uncle has been going to what is called the Seidtman (sp?) cancer institute at Barnes-Jewish. Do you know anything about that clinic? My sister also went there when she was diagnosed with breast cancer 3 years ago. She has made a full recovery. My mother the same less than 2 years ago.

    stanrock
    My uncle has liver cancer that he is undergoing chemotherapy for but is doing no good at all. They are literally giving him less than 2 months to live. He is/was a very healthy non-smoking 65 year old man who has always been very active. Does anyone know of treatment other than conventional chemo even if it's abroad that can help him?

  7. #7
    Administrator Top User brainman's Avatar
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    Yes, the Alvin Siteman Clinic is very well known and respected. Your uncle will receive excellent care there.
    Jim
    Long-term cancer survivor
    1992 Astrocytoma grade 2, left motor strip
    2005 Recurrence this time said to be an Oligodendroglioma grade 3, same location.
    http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=2405
    My Story Part 1: http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=2528
    My Story Part 2: http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?p=7350
    My Story Part 3: http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=8029

  8. #8
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    i'm sorry about your uncle. i don't know how things are with him now that it's june, but i've been doing lots of research for my dad, who also has cancer that is affecting the liver. he is bordering on liver failure right now. it's been really fast. we were thinking about the CAAT diet and other nutrition based therapies before my dad completely lost his appetite. my dad doesn't really have many options for treatment--can't transplant because it has metastacized all over his body, and can't process the chemo or radiation because it is too toxic for his liver to handle. that's why were considering alternative therapies and treatments. maybe you can look into the CAAT diet (controlled amino acid therapy, from the AP John Institute for Cancer Research), hope this helps and best wishes to you and your uncle and family.

  9. #9
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    i a soory about your uncle, but i am facing a similar problem . I am from chennai India. My uncle , 62 years old had been diagnosed with advcned HCC due to heptatis B on 7th april. The cancer had spread to the lymh nodes there by ruling out surgery as well as transplant. After consultation with various doctors concensus was arrived that surgery was ruled out.
    The concensus we got was to start Nexavor for 4 weeks wait then go in for other forms of treatment like TACE etc.
    He has been taking Nexavor from 18th april and at the end of 6 weeks PET scan was perfomed. The doctor were of the opion that he has responded well and to continue Nexavor for further 2 weeks. We had made arrangments and were traveling to Singapore with appointmnets with DR K C Tan as well as NCC singapore.
    But in the past week his health has deteriated with execive tiredness loss of total appitite etc. On june 4th he was addmitted in the hospital and is being treated to regularise his sodium levels etc. Now they have found fluid in the abdoman which the doctors say as weeping liver.

    I need advice as where are we standing , can he travel go to any other centre for best possible treatment , prolonging the inevitable and where should we go.

    Thanks
    rahul

  10. #10
    Rahul,

    Posted: Sat Sep 05, 2009 5:44 pm Post subject: Metastatic cancer

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    My father was diagnosed with adeno carcinoma (stomach cancer) in 2004. He underwent partial gastrectomy (removal of 50% of stomach) followed by chemo & radiation therapy.

    He was disease free for 5 years and in Aug'2009 now he has been diagnosed with metastatic liver cancer. The doctors did 2 rounds of biopsy and they were negative. However the doctors were sure the tumors seen on the liver during PET scan is cancerous.

    Now they have started him on chemo, just finished the first round and dad has become very weak and needed RBC blood transfusion, the doctors want to continue atleast another 3 rounds of chemo before they can do a scan again. However dad is too weak to receive any more chemo.

    I read on the net of a tablet called NEXAVAR which is very effective in treating liver cancer. Can you plz check with your doctor if NEXAVAR is effective in treating metastatic liver cancer.

 
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