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Cancer final stages, has lever disease. On chemotherapy, The prognosis for liver?

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My husband was told today @ his oncologist (stage 4 colon cancer) that he has a liver disease. What are we looking @ as far as treatment an life expectancy

We have known about the cancer for almost 2 years he has been taking chemo an has had the surgery an has a colostomy. Im wondering about the liver disease what are the prognosis on it. She said his liver function levels are up an that he is jaundice. I wanna know how this is going to affect his treatment and if it is gonna be fatal in a quick way. I need to know these answers in clear englsh so I can prepare my self as well as my children.
Posted Sat, 5 May 2012 in Colon Cancer
Answered by Dr. Indranil Ghosh 10 minutes later

Thanks for writing to us. I am sorry to hear about your husband.

Unfortunately, the median survival of stage 4 colon cancer is around 2 years. This means that only 50% of such patients can survive for more than 2 years. 5 year survival is possible for only select subset of patients (for example, those with only liver metastases, which have been resected).

I don't know whether your husband had liver metastases and if so, were they resected or not. However, it seems that he had responded initially to the chemotherapy and is now having jaundice as a new development. Jaundice may be because of various reasons (like, new or increasing liver metastasis, obstruction of bile due to blockage of bile ducts, adverse effects of chemotherapy on liver cells or even due to viral hepatitis). We need to be sure what we are dealing with, as treatment and prognosis for each is different.

I need to know about the liver function tests and imaging (Ultrasound/CT scan/MRI) findings to give you a clear picture.

However, if this is due to progressive or new metastases, then the outlook is grim. As he has already received chemotherapy, options are limited. Moreover, most chemotherapy cannot be given in the presence of jaundice. In this scenario, he should get supportive care only. Though we should not predict survival, expected is probably around 3-6 months only.

Please let me know if I can be of any additional help.
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