View Full Version : 13 CM Tumor and getting doc's to speak up

11-14-2008, 04:20 PM
Hi, I'm new here, and have been reading some posts for the last 2 weeks (they've been so helpful thank you everyone!) since my dad was diagnosed with primary liver cancer. He's 67 yrs, and his tumor is 13 cm x 8 cm. He was a heavy drinker for a long time. He is negative for Hep B and C and they aren't sure if he has cirrhosis or not. The doctors aren't willing to stage his cancer or give a proper prognosis yet. You cannot see that anything is wrong with him looking at him now. He is very independent. He's had so many MRI, CT scans, X-rays, etc. along with ultrasounds and biopsies. So far, it seems to be contained in the liver. The surgeon said liver transplant and surgery is not possible because of the large tumor size and because he had a double bypass surgery 2 years ago with a valve replacement. So because of his valve, they don't want to run the risk of transplant as well. Right now, he is on the max. strength for Nexavar and so far, after a week no serious side effects except for slight diarrhea.

We live 3 hours away and its very hard to go for every appointment when you have your own family as well. My mother is in denial and doesn't ask the proper questions and she likes the current oncologist. When my brother and I went to see the oncologist and surgeon, the oncologist was very vague and had a "I dont know/not sure" attitude which was really irritating. But we would like another opinion.

Has anyone ever gone to MD Cancer center ? How costly was it ? What type of insurance did you have if they did cover anything ? My parents have Medicare with supplemental insurance (HMO) and its horrible to work with HMO's. They give you the run around. When I called MD Cancer Center in Houston they said an initial consult was about $18000 (if you pay yourself) !! It seems so much $$$! But the current oncologist had said they would send some slides to MD cancer to get a 2nd opinion on the pathology reports only.

Anyway I just want to hear your thoughts. I was a wreck 2 weeks ago. Now I'm coming to terms and trying to accept and stop fighting with my parents and trying to accept what they wish to do which is basically nothing right now..other than get referrals from their PCP to go see just about any other doctor and take nexavar. My mom thinks the chemo drug nexavar will "get rid of the tumor" and will cure it 100%.

Also, has anyone traveled while taking Nexavar ? I keep reading online that it lowers immunity and hence can catch more things, but the doc's ok'd his international travel during flu season.

Sorry for the long post. How do you ask doctors to give a more detailed answers ? Do you have to push to ask how long he has to live ? I want him to spend whatever time he has enjoying life and spending time with his loved ones instead of working all the time and running errands.

11-16-2008, 09:51 PM
Sam75, I am very sorry about your father's cancer. 13cm is indeed a very large tumor. I am sorry that there is so little that can be done for him.

MD Anderson is an excellent cancer center. It is the No. 1 rated cancer center in the USA according the US News and World Report


I wonder what is included in the initial $18,000? That must include much more than just talking to a doctor. Maybe scans, blood tests, and a biopsy could add up to that.

I do not know how well Nexavar will work but I very much doubt that it will be a cure. I also do not have any idea about a prognosis for your father. I will recommend that you try to help your father as much as possible to live a happy, high quality life how ever long that is.

You and your father are in my thoughts and prayers.