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Liver tumor, not cancerous, high alkaline phosphate. Treatment ?

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Practicing since : 2002
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I am 47 years old, female, 5ft 11inches, weigh 210lbs. I have a 2 1/2 to 3inch liver tumor that is being watched. Ive had many Cts and Mri this past year when it was detected. Apparently it is not cancerous at this time per biopsy. I am due for my 6 month CT scan now. I just had lab work done and i noticed my my alkaline phosphatase is a bit high. Normal for my lab is 26-137. Mine has been slowly creeping up the last few years. It is now 144. All other labs appear normal. What could this mean? Any recommendations? Also, my gastroenterologist and the radiologist and my XXXXXXX medicine doctor all thought for sure that it was ca by the exry results. The biopsy said otherwise. thank you!
Posted Sun, 29 Apr 2012 in Liver and Gall Bladder
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 21 minutes later
Hello and thanks for the query.

From the information you provided, it sounds like your physicians are following you appropriately. I would very much appreciated if you could forward me a copy of the biopsy results in order for me to review the actual findings. You may send that to my attention at YYYY@YYYY . This would help me immensely in considering your question.

I am not very concerned at all about this very minor increase in the alkaline phosphatase. A few things can contribute to this - among them is 1) a slight obstruction of normal bile flow in the liver 2) normal activity of cells in the bone or 3) pregnancy.

In your case I suspect what they are following is either a benign liver cyst or nodule. Another possibility would be a benign hemangioma. I am glad to hear that the imaging findings have not changed much as this bodes well and supports a very likely benign process.

I thank you again for submitting your query. I will look forward to additional information which you might be able to provide regarding the biopsy findings. When I receive those I will make further comments in reference to your question.


Dr. Galamaga
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Liver tumor, not cancerous, high alkaline phosphate. Treatment ? 2 days later

Thank you for your reply.

It has definatley been diagnosed as a turmor...not a cyst. I am forwarding you some of my tests. I do not have the biposy written report for some reason. It did state that it was normal liver did not diagnose it, however. I am sure i have the report at work, if you need it, let me know.

Thank you for your time and advice,
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 12 hours later

Thanks again,

I reviewed the reports from the CT scans and MRI. I agree they see a soft tissue density in the liver. What is reassuring right now is that the size is stable. It has not grown, changed in size or shape and has not invaded any surrounding tissue.

It would be nice to have the biopsy report but as you say they found normal liver tissue. Assuming they sampled the correct part of the liver this is again reassuring.

One additional test which may be of utility in your case would be a PET scan. PET scans light up in areas where there is increased metabolic activity. If for example a PET was done and the area in your liver did not light up at all this again supports the likely diagnosis that this is a benign nodule.

In all likelihood this will have to be followed over time. Your docs may advocate another biopsy in the future if they feel it is necessary but in the setting of a stable nodule which is not getting bigger I think it is reasonable to watch closely.

I know this is a very concerning issue and assume you have alot of anxiety about it. I would like to reassure you, however that I think your docs are doing the right thing and acting appropriately given the imaging findings and the pathology report findings which you relayed to me.

Again I thank you for your query. I hope you have found our interaction to be helpful and informative. I am here for you if you have any additional concerns in the future.


Dr. Galamaga
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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