Topic: Dumb question

Today when we were talking to the surgeon about surgical options for my mom, he said that surgery was not possible because of the tumor having wrapped the portal vein and hepatic artery.  Now when I asked whether it would help to surgically remove as much of the tumor as possible so that radiation/chemo could work on the rest, he said that it was useless.

I am sure he is right, but why is it so? Doesn't it help to surgically reduce the size of the tumor so that radiation/chemo has "less work to do"?

2 (edited by ukmember Sat, 04 Feb 2006 07:55:00)

Re: Dumb question

I have often thought the same myself. my husband will have PDT which shrinks the tunour slightly so that the ducts are clearer and able to clear the liver. As the oncologist so bluntly put it, what kills you with this disease is the fact that the liver cannot function because the ducts are clogged, - so anything that helps keep the ducts clear is useful.  I asked the doctor  'If it shrinks the tumour why can't you keep on doing it until it disappears?  His answer was unclear and not really convincing. something to do with the fact that there are important blood vessels in the area?