This past Tuesday I had ultrasound done, to check for fatty liver, my alt, trig and red cell counts were high and were for a concern, well my levels are still the same, so that lead to a ultrasound, These past couple of months I am extremely weak, I sleep tweleve hours a day, and still wake up and have no engery, I have to force myself to get up, I swear if I did not have a 4 year old, I would sleep all the time. I thought it was beacause I cut all sugar and caffeine out of my diet. Well anyway, that is why bloodwork was done, followed by the ultrasound. The results came back today, I do have fatty deposits on the liver, but the liver is fine, not enlarged. So I am guessing a biopsy is needed to be done for the fatty liver, which is a fine with me I know it can be controled with diet and excercise. Which I have been doing.
Well the other news is a mass was found on my liver, by my gall bladder, a ct scan will be done the begining of the week, to see for sure what it is.
I have a few questions, first cancer runs in my family, both twin sisters who are under 30 have already had uterine and ovarian, one has been in remission for 10 years and the other 1 year, after given 3-6 months to live. my dad died of lung and thraot cancer, all his family has passed from cancer, which is 3 uncles and 2 aunts.
But just a few questions, hope some one can shed some light,
1. How does a person actually know they have liver cancer?
2. How do you get a mass on your liver?
3. If cancer is on your liver, can it be removed with out messing with the liver function?
4.Can a ct scan tell if the mass is Cancer?
5. If it is cancer, what would be the best option to do, removal, chemo?
Well I want to look at much info I can so I can prepare for good or bad news, has anyone here hae liver cancer and how was it diagnosed? Thanks so much for takign time and reading this. God Bless.
The following user gives a hug of support to Tellesfamilia: restraint (06-22-2011)
I sure hope maybe person who have experienced this first hand or family member or firend could possibly answer my questions, or shed some light. I also posted on the cancer site, if here this forum is more liver disorders than cancer. Well thanks a bunch. Any help would truley be appericiated.
I don't post too terribly fequently but I can feel the distress that you are suffering in your message.
It is too early for you to panic yet about your liver lesion being cancer. Yes, obviously it could be cancer but there are also a couple of benign liver lesions out there too.
It sounds like you are relatively young, since you have a four year old, and a female, I think. So you already have a lot going in your favor.
The two more common benign liver lesions of women in our age group are focal nodular hyperplasia (fnh) and adenoma. Adenoma is thought to be an estrogen driven tumor so if you have ever taken birth control pills you might be more likely to develop this benign tumor.
You may want to read some of the other threads on FNH and adenoma. There is a wealth of information in these threads and you will see that there are quite a number of women posting in these threads.
I have what the doctors belive is FNH. I am here to tell you I thought I would be dead in six months when my internist called and said that I had a several centimeter liver tumor. That was one year ago and I am still here to talk about it. I had no idea about these benign liver tumors.
Waiting for these tests and the results is the hardest thing. But do remember that there is a whole lot of hope that your liver tumor is benign. The statistics are on your side.
There is still always a chance that liver tumors in younger women can be cancerous which is why it is important to continue pursuing all of the tests that are available to you while continuing to remember that there is a very good chance that the tumor is benign.
The stress of worrying about your liver tumor is bad for your health too. I always kept trying to tell myself to stop worrying about my liver tumor --if I didn't have cancer now I was sure to get it from running down my immune system from worrying so terribly much about this issue. And trust me I worried a ton!! Hindsight it was absolutely ridiculous and did me absolutely no good in the end. All of the stress and worrying also impaired my ability to make good decisions about my healthcare.
A CT scan is a great test to further determine the nature of your liver tumor. I do not think that that doctors can ever be confident without a shred of a doubt based upon diagnostic imaging alone but the test will most likely give tell the doctors a lot more about your liver tumor.
Let me know if you I can help you out in any other way.
tellesfamillia--I was wondering how you were doing--you hadn't posted in a while.
amykcpa gave you a lot of great info and support. Listen to her. I know it's easy to say "don't worry so much" but we've been there and stress does take a huge toll on your body and liver.
A few things to know when dealing w/the liver...1) "mass" does not automatically equal cancer. 2) which my liver specialist told me--when they find a "mass", it's easier for them to tell you what it IS NOT, than what it is...they use diagnostic testing to rule things out-and by those results they choose the next test needed. When doing an abdominal U/S for something else in Marh 2004, they found the mass on my liver. I panicked. I asked a ton of questions and learned from the dr. Then a ct scan showed it was not cancer suspect, but it took another test to decide whether it was hemangioma or fatty tumor. My "mass" is a fatty tumor. Usually they are just what amy said--adenoma, hemangioma(blood filled sacs called tumors) or fatty cyst/tumors. I have 2 new "lesions" on the other lobe of my liver which we are in the process of diagnosing right now. When they found the fatty tumor, they called it a "mass." Now the same two radiologists are calling these "lesions." So I know what you're going thru. Stress is not good for the immune system.
A CT is a really good tool-and the radiologist who reads it should be able to tell if it's fat, blood, or suspect for cancer. If needed they'll do an MRI. Biopsy is usually a last resort. Altho you have cancer in the family-it's unlikely at your age this is a malignant tumor.
My liver failed in March 2005 (it's unrelated to the fat tumor & lesions) My husband was told I wouldn't live thru the night. I did. I was placed at the top of the liver transplant list. My liver regenerated itself-and I didn't need a transplant. I get all my vaccinations and have routine checks w/liver spec. an Ex of how quick our liver can bounce back: the transplant director said in living donors-one person gets 60% and the other gets 40% of the liver...w/in 4 wks both livers are almost to full size--and at 6-8 wks they are both totally regenerated and grown back.
Hang in there--the waiting is the worst part. As amy said-the stats are on your side. Let us know how you'e doing...
The Following User Says Thank You to happyelf For This Useful Post: restraint (06-22-2011)
When I was 21 my Dr's found my first 2 tumors and before surgery they told me they where pretty sure it was cancer.I was a wreck until about 3 weeks after surgery when the pathology came back and it wasn't cancer!! So always think on the bright side, Dr's don't always know. I am now 33 and I have had 2 liver resections and a RFA procedure to remove a total of 5 tumors , the biggest a little bigger than a softball and the smallest about the size of a golf ball And none where cancer!! Hope all goes well for you, let us all know.I found these boards about 3 months ago and they have helped me soooo much
Thanks so much for the concerns, yes I did go and have the scan, but unfortuantally it is a wait game, The place that I go to are really well at getting the results back, so hopefuuly by the end of the week. Depeneding on the resluts, I may have a early reunion with my husband, a month and a half early. Some of the wifes in my husbands unit have been so supportive and that helps alot.
Myself I am going ok, I am still very weak, I considered going back to caffeine, just to have engery. I also know that is is bad for me. Well today after drinking the baruin sulfate, I had gotten pain in my side, not extremely painful but enough for disconfort. But mentally I am doing ok, I try not to think about it, like the first day and second day I was a wreck with worry. But now, I am hoping for best and willing to except any outcome that is put in front of me and embrace it with knowledge, faith, and support of family and friends.
But thank you all for the concerns and thoughts and words of knowledge and insperation. I will keep all of you updated.
An early reunion with your husband would be wonderful for you--would they only do that if the CT results were not a good outcome? If that is the case-then waiting a month and a half would be better for you. I keep forgetting you're dealing with military healthcare...that is more of a waiting game than some private drs. I'm glad you have support fromthe other wives---lean on them.
Having a little one really wears you out-and the lack of caffeine your body is used to is an adjustment in itself. Did they tell you to quit caffeine altogether? I am allowed a cup of coffee in the morning and if I want, a little in the afternoon in the form of cola or coffee...since then, I don't think I've ever finished an entire cup of coffee in the morning tho.
Hang in there honey--focus onthe little one and this week will fly by. Stay stong.
Yes, the drs did say to cut all sugars and caffine out of my diet in a way, since I am on a 900 a day calorie diet, but I am guessing I could maybe drink it and see if it helps. Like in the morning. At first I just thought I was lazy, comming back from a 23 day vacation to mexico, I just did not want to do anything, like for a few days then it got worse, actually sleeping all the time and then when awake being a walking zombie. Like bending over to pick something up drains me, or even excercising, but I make sure I get that done twice a day.
Would you know any natural ways to boost energy? Besides the caffine pills, I take daily vitimans they seem to be of no help.
Yes, depending on the results of the ct scan, my hubby may return, the American Red Cross, which is faboulous, they will get my husband here with in the next two days or three after calling them. I just have to give them the info, and my drs number, and and they go from there. But like I said hopefully it will be in the month and a half with better circumstances then soon.
Well thanks again, and ohh one more question elf, my alt and red blood cells are still high with recent blood test, will they always be high or will they flutter up and down? Considering this is four times and they are still high? Well almost at the same levels. Or could it be a possibility with all thats going on with the liver as far as tumors, could that cause it, or is it the fatty liver deposits they found. Thanks a bunch, I truely appericiate it alot.
Thank God for the Red Cross--they are truly angels!! Hopefully you won't need them, but if so, it's nice to know they are there!!
Pertaining to your fatigue, I'm suspect of your 900cal/day diet and twice daily exercise. It's great you're sticking to it-that's tough to do! Pat yourself on the back! Now-couple that w/stress you are under playing the waiting/wondering game, taking care of a 4yr old, alone, & your husband overseas--it's a wonder you get your feet on the ground at all every morning!!! I'd bet the no sugar/caffeine thing is taking zapping your energy level too. Did you quit cold turkey on both--and did you quit them at the same time or a few weeks apart? I had to stop all caffeine when I went thru In-Virto Fertilization(I have 5yr old twins so I know how you feel)& the dr wouldn't let me go cold turkey-made me do a "step down" over 1mo. B/f that I drank 1 cup of coffee each morn/1 soda in afternoon--not a lot of caffeine, but he said it would make me feel like I had no energy (and give me headaches) if I didn't taper off. How long have you been on this diet and exercise regime? Did you cut out sugar and caffeine the same time as you started 900 cal/ 2 daily exercise? The emotional exhaustion from this will wear you down physically--and even more so when your liver is not 100%--that's one of the first things I was told--stress will take it's toll on the liver. That's why I say try not to think abt it...but I know it's so tough to not worry. Check w/your dr abt Vitamin B-12--it's great for energy. It worked WONDERS for me! It has to go thru your liver--so until you get your ct results and talk to your dr abt it, don't take anything he hasn't approved. Some vitamins & minerals are metabolized easier than others--and some can keep your enzymes up. Yes, your ALT may remain elevated for a while, but it CAN return to normal. If you have fatty liver, (even if this mass turns out to be a fat tumor AND you have fatty deposits on your liver) diet and exercise will bring your enzymes down w/in a few mos--in *some* ppl 6-8 wks they'll see them go back to normal. You've had bloodwork 4 x and they were all high. How many weeks apart did they do it each time-like a week or a month? Did they begin doing your bloodwork before or aft you started diet/exercise? EXTREME exercise can elevate your #'s also...so that may have something to do w/it--if you've exercised hard the day b/f the test.
As for your red blood cells--did they mention to you why they think they were up? Do you smoke? They can come back down--that can be temporary--but I think that too depends on the reason they are up to begin with. How high were they-if you don't mind me asking.
Hope you're feeling better...Try to get a nap during the day--that is, if your small one will take one too--but at least try to put your feet up to recharge your battery during the afternoon--it will help a lot. Sorry for all the questions to you--if you don't want to answer-I understand.
Have a great day-and I hope you got some rest last night(tonight). And anytime you need me-I'm here. Amy had some terriffic info, and it was nice to hear someone w/a positive experience in the face of a really scary situation...I hope she pipes in too.
I got my ct results back today and the tumor is a fatty tumor, very small, the dr said it was a collection of fatty cells, confirming fatty liver diease. So no biopsy is needed. I do have kidney stones, which is very minor. Since my triglycerides are very high and rising, I am going to be put on I belive, Amatar, to lower them. Tomorrow I will get it for sure and tell you the name. I am so relieved, that was such a scare for me and my family.
The weakness I am experiencing is from the no caffine and sugar, I am to go to do something like you elf and drink a cup of coffee and decrease my sleep from 10-11 hours to 6-8, maybe that would help.
So I will get the routine blood work every two months, and that will depend on how long I will be on the medication. My red cell levels dropped, they went from 5.37 down to 5.26 which is high but they went down, I forgot to ask the dr, what cause that to be high. I will do that in the morning. I dont smoke or do drugs or drink. The last three months I have been really well onmy diet and excercise, my dr did increase my calories to 1000-1200, maybe the lack of food, makes me weak, but I eat5-7 times a day on 900. just really small amounts and lots of f/v.
Well thank all of you for your help thoughts, and wishes. Please take care.
YIPPEEE!! Very happy for you Tellesfamilia--Whew! Now you can breathe!! Sorry you won't see the hubby sooner-but there's a good reason why...Oh yes--check into the Vitamin B-12--it comes in pill form OTC or you can get a shot(just found that out!!) It is a lifesaver for energy!! Congrats hon--now go enjoy that little one!!
My partner got a diagnosis of colon cancer from a very clear "apple-core" lesion. He had a complete CAT scan which showed a tennis ball sized growth in his liver. His first (bad surgeon) proclaimed it probably inoperable and recommended hospice care...you NEED stuff like this, Right? We ran from this doomsayer and found a good surgeon.
Anyway, I researched the hospitals that were doing quarter sections of the Liver (U. of Pittsburgh I believe) in case we needed liver surgery.
Odd thing was the biopsy of the COLON tumor showed a not particularly invasive tumor.
For the colon surgery, with the BEST colon surgeon in NYC, we arranged for an expert hepatologist to assist and to look at the liver during the colon surgery.
Diagnosis...HEMANGIOMA, no need for any intervention.
We were told that hemangiomas (knots of blood vessels) were usually only found on autopsy before the invention of the CT and MRI scans but they are quite common and usually without consequence.
But SCARY AS HELL.
Partner is fine 10 years later, no cancer, no liver problems.
I don't think it's wise to needle biopsy a supspected hemangioma lest they bleed profusely and I'm not sure HOW they can be daignosed without surgery unless a high resolution MRI can show it up to a trained eye.