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Cancer

Levels Of Bilirubin Indicative of Stages Of Liver Cancer

07/21/2008

Question:

A friend is in the end stages of liver cancer and recently had a bilirubin reading level of 24. Is this indicative of the final stage? I couldn`t find any chart relating bilirubin to cancer stages on the internet. Our friend is very jaundiced now. Thank you for your help.

Answer:

I am sorry to learn of this.

Yes, with a bilirubin this high, this is indicative of a failing liver. Without more information, I cannot tell you if the patient has hepatitis, which could have lead to the cancer as well as contributing to this level of hyperbilirubinemia.

If your friend does not have hepatitis (typically C), and this high bilirubin is caused by tumor, that would be very worrisome.

If there is hepatitis, and this high bilirubin is caused by that (in addition to a tumor) that would also not be good.

In either case, you cannot relate level of bilirubin to cancer. Search the internet as much as you can, but you will not find any data to correlate degree of cancer to level of bilirubin.

My advice, spend time with your friend. I would fear that he/she has precious little of that.

Best to you and your friend.

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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