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Cancer

Posible Symptonms of Cancer?

06/23/2008

Question:

My mother has been told she has hardening of the liver. She has emphyema, enlarged heart, and is diabetic. They ruled out a biopsy and surgery, as it is too risky. In the last 2 months, she has become increasingly lathargic (sleeps up to 20 hours a day), poor appetite, nausea, dizziness, bad taste in her mouth, and excessive saliva. Could these be symptoms of cancer? She said she feels like she is dying.

Answer:

I am sorry to learn of these things about your mother. Unfortunately, from the information you provide, I cannot tell if she has liver cancer. If she has significant heart dysfunction, as seen with an enlarged heart, that can cause blood to build up in the liver, making it appear “hard”. She obviously needs to see a doctor, get some blood work, perhaps an evaluation of her heart, and go from there. Being she is a diabetic, and has an enlarged heart, I would be worried more about her other organ systems (such as kidneys and heart), than about her liver. This is as much as I can tell you based upon the information given.

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Response by:

Steven  M Rudich, MD, PhD, FACS Steven M Rudich, MD, PhD, FACS
Formerly
Professor of Surgery, Director of Liver Transplat and Hepatobiliary Surgery
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati