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Diagnosed on liver cancer, past history breast cancer survivor. Lost 7lbs in 2 weeks. Is chemo advisable?

My Aunt has just been diagnosed (this past week) with Liver Cancer, though not yet sure of stage. She is 83, 198 lbs (lost 7 lbs in last two weeks), is a 20 + yr breast cancer survivor and in overall OK health. She was having trouble digesting food, so I took her to Dr. They then found a tumor in her upper abdomen. Blood work, CT and endoscopy done (nothing detected in the endoscopy). The Dr. reached out to me last night (great Dr. - called on a Friday night @ 9:00!) to let me know to be ready for an oncology appt for his upcoming week. What can I potentially expect? All that I read tells me that we should be ready for a short life expectancy.... Anything I should know? Would chemo be an option for someone like this?
Asked On : Tue, 30 Apr 2013
Answers:  2 Views:  65
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General Surgeon 's  Response
Apr 2013
Hi and welcome to HCM.
All in all these arent good news. It is questionable is this primary liver tumour or a metastasis. But whatever it is she is definitely not able to stand liver resection or any other surgical procedure. Chemo is also questionable. But you should give your best for palliative treatment and make all this easier for her. It is hard to predict anything but life expectancy is from few months till 1 year if this is malignant. Wish you good luck.
Answered: Wed, 1 May 2013
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Oncologist, Radiation Dr. Subhas Pandit's  Response
Welcome to healthare magic

Sine she is breast cancer survivor, it is more likely that she has metastasis of breast cancer in liver rather then a new liver cancer. Scans and fine needle aspiration biopsy will confirm that.
If it is metastasis and there is no disease elsewhere- she will benefit more from local therapy.That is treating only the tumor.Ideally surgery of tumor is best treatment if it is operable. But I doubt she can undergo surgery because of her advanced age.
Other minimally invasive procedures like radio-frequency ablation or non invasive procedure like Stereotactic body radiotherapy(SBRT) can be an option.
If it turns out to be breast cancer metastasis and hormone receptor are positive she will benefit from hormonal therapy.
Chemotherapy will have limited role and is very difficult to administer in 83 year old patient.

Answered: Wed, 1 May 2013
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