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Friday, May 24, 2013
Liver Cancer metastasis
My sister 32, female, had a recent surgery to remove the tumor she had in the colon as well as her liver. The surgeon decided that he could not operate on the liver because it showed scattered cancer growth. Ther question is, is liver transplant a suggestion? What other procedure could be done at this stage?
Thanks in advance.
What a difficult situation to go through.
If I'm reading your question correctly your sister had a primary colon cancer which metastasized (spread) to the liver correct? Unfortunately, if this is the case, your sister would probably not be a candidate for a liver transplant. Usually if a patient receives a liver transplant for a liver cancer, it is because they had a primary cancer of the liver which has been contained in the liver (has not metastasized) and the cancer in the liver is a small tumor and not scattered throughout the liver. In your sister's situation, sometimes chemotherapy is an option.
In some cases, depending on the size, location, and number of tumors in the liver, sometimes the blood vessels supplying a nodule of liver cancer can be "embolized" - or the blood supply to the tumor can be cut off by various techniques. This would probably not be an option, however if there are many scattered tumors in the liver.
Best wishes to your sister and your family.
Julia Gore Thornton, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University