Spots on Liver - 1258675

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sherrys
Spots on Liver - 1258675

I had my last set of scans in May and dr. said everything was good, rescan in September. Due to the fact that the lung scans have been so good, we discussed revisiting the breast cancer to be sure nothing snuck up on us and blindsided us. So, last week I saw breast oncologist for first time in over a year. My mammogram was clear. While in her office, she asked if lung onc talked to me about the "two spots on your liver". That was the first I had heard of them.

She very matter if factly stated that they likely represented metastatic disease but that treatment wouldn't change. She said they were about .5 cm each. She also stated I had fatty liver, but this scan showed less fat than the last.

Since that scan in May, I have had skin issues with Tarceva, so my lung onc had taken me off of it for 3 weeks, then reduced my dosage to 25 mg. I am still on 25 mg. I can't imagine why, if it is mets, he would reduce my Tarceva.

Is there ever anything else seen in the liver that does not represent cancer in a stage IV patient? If it is mets, is that something the Tarceva could take care of? if they truly developed after starting Tarceva, does that mean that its already not working? I'm confused and would like to ask him directly, but it feels odd to call him and question this, as I really don't know how to start or what to say.

catdander
Reply To: Spots on Liver

Oh Dear Sherry, I wish the answers to be easy and reassuring. However we know they rarely are but I know you'll be better armed after hearing from the doctors here (I'll contact one for comment). Remind me when the doctor changed your dosage and of course we look forward to hearing about the outcome of your conversations.

Janine

sherrys
Reply To: Spots on Liver

Thank you Janine. My scan was in May. At that time I was on 50 mg. At the end of June my dr. took me off of Tarceva completely due to skin issues. He had me off of it for 3 weeks then started me on 25 mg, which is what I am presently taking. I scan again in September.

Is it normal to give a treatment break then go to a lower dosage if there is a new finding? Also, isn't it unusual that he didn't even tell me?

mikem
Reply To: Spots on Liver

Hi Sherry,

I was wondering if you get copies of your scan reports. If so, did the last one mention spots on the liver? If not, I don't think you would be calling out your doctor by relating to him what the breast cancer oncologist said. It sounds like your lung onc could clear up any ambiguity. He may have a very different interpretation of what is being seen on the scan but the only way to find out would be to bring it up. --mikem

Dr West
Reply To: Spots on Liver

I think a leading alternative could be cysts in the liver, but it sounds like it would be very appropriate to clarify your oncologist's thoughts on this. It's very possible for imaging findings to be misinterpreted, but it's also possible that these findings could have been minimized, or even possibly just overlooked but represent progressing disease. I think speaking with your oncologist will help clarify things and either provide reassurance or a new direction.

Good luck.

-Dr. West

+++++++++++++++++++++++++
Dr. Howard (Jack) West
Associate Clinical Professor
Medical Oncology
City of Hope Cancer Center
Duarte, CA

Founder & President
Global Resource for Advancing
Cancer Education

laya d.
Reply To: Spots on Liver

Oh Sherry. . .I'm so sorry about this latest ambiguity. Fingers and toes are crossed that we are dealing with nothing more than cysts here. . .I'm keeping you close.

xoxo,
Laya

sherrys
Reply To: Spots on Liver

I spoke with my oncologist's nurse. The first abdominal scan I had was in January and apparently the finding was there at that time. Since there was nothing to compare to and the spots were sub-centimeter, they were just watching them. They showed up the same this time but the difference was that the fatty liver is better so they can be seen better. However, they still don't know what they're looking at. Since they haven't changed in any way with treatment, they could be fatty deposits, cysts or cancer that is stable.

I'm scheduled for my next set of scans on September 10. I'm not sure if I hope they're the same or gone.

Thanks so much to everyone for your replies, care and concern.

neilb
Reply To: Spots on Liver

Either one would be good. If they're the same, I bet they're cysts. If they're gone, then they were cancer that has been beaten away by Tarceva. It's going to be one or the other of those two.--Neil

sherrys
Reply To: Spots on Liver

I hope you're right. And if you are, I'll even consider taking back the age comment. ;)

Dr West
Reply To: Spots on Liver

We see so many miscellaneous small spots in the liver that we often discount them unless we see new ones appearing or old ones growing. Far more often than not, they remain stable and are concluded, primarily with the benefit of ongoing follow-up, to be benign cysts or "hemangiomas" (little pockets of blood, not significant).

Basically, just like little spots on the skin, people just have little spots on the liver or kidneys, etc., that never do anything to anybody, and we'd never know about or care about them except when we find them for the first time and don't know what they mean. It's very reassuring to see them remain stable over time.

-Dr. West

+++++++++++++++++++++++++
Dr. Howard (Jack) West
Associate Clinical Professor
Medical Oncology
City of Hope Cancer Center
Duarte, CA

Founder & President
Global Resource for Advancing
Cancer Education

double trouble
Reply To: Spots on Liver

Sherry, you're in my thoughts. Scary. But it does sound like the odds are in your favor. We'll be waiting for your Sept. good report.
Debra

marisa93
Reply To: Spots on Liver

Sherry,

I'm sorry to hear you have had a recent scare. I hope your scan in sept shows the spots gone or unchanged!!! Keeping you in my thoughts.

Lisa

JimC
Reply To: Spots on Liver

Sherry,

I join with Lisa in the hope that your next scan shows that these are benign cysts or something else of no consequence. Our thoughts will be with you.

JimC
Forum moderator

<p>I began visiting GRACE in July, 2008 when my wife Liz was diagnosed with lung cancer, and became a forum moderator in January, 2010. My beloved wife of 30 years passed away Nov. 4, 2011 after battling stage IV lung cancer for 3 years and 4 months</p>

sherrys
Reply To: Spots on Liver

I had my brain MRI and chest and abdominal CTs yesterday. I am so excited to say that I remain NED!!

My oncologist feels that the spots on the liver are fat, and he was disappointed to learn that my breast oncologist made the comments she did without speaking to him first. He had read the scan himself yesterday but told me they would call me today after they received the radiologist's report. I received a call that the radiologist concurred with him.

I can't tell you how incredibly blessed I feel. I have no idea why, at stage IV, I have shown NED for 14 months. I was fortunate enough to have gone 3 years before my first progression. Everytime I am scheduled for scans, I convince myself that this will be the time I show progression. Thank you all so much for your support. You are all amazing.

catdander
Reply To: Spots on Liver

YAY YaY Yay SHERRY! I want to know you going another 55 years of NED scans.

!!!!!

Dr West
Reply To: Spots on Liver

I'm so, so happy for you Sherry! You deserve that great news!

-Dr. West

+++++++++++++++++++++++++
Dr. Howard (Jack) West
Associate Clinical Professor
Medical Oncology
City of Hope Cancer Center
Duarte, CA

Founder & President
Global Resource for Advancing
Cancer Education

laya d.
Reply To: Spots on Liver

WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

xoxoxox,
Laya

sherrys
Reply To: Spots on Liver

One thing I forgot to mention is that I have been on 25 mg of Tarceva since early July and will remain on that dose.

Dr. West, thank you for your comment. It means a lot coming from you.

Catdander, whenever I go "there" with my husband and talk about time, he always says I'm going to live 15 years. I like your 55, but that would make me 107. Wouldn't that be something? Not only one of the oldest living humans, but 59 years with lung cancer! :)

And Laya, you just make me smile. ALWAYS.

JimC
Reply To: Spots on Liver

Sherry,

Such wonderful news!!! I'm very happy for you and I join in hoping for many, many more years of NED!

JimC
Forum moderator

<p>I began visiting GRACE in July, 2008 when my wife Liz was diagnosed with lung cancer, and became a forum moderator in January, 2010. My beloved wife of 30 years passed away Nov. 4, 2011 after battling stage IV lung cancer for 3 years and 4 months</p>

double trouble
Reply To: Spots on Liver

SHERRY!

WE LOVE NED!

:-D :-D :-D HAPPY DANCE! :-D :-D :-D

marisa93
Reply To: Spots on Liver

Sherry,

That is great news, very happy for you!!!!! I hope NED sticks around for a long time:)

Lisa