Topic: Can cirrhosis of the liver be caused by radiation?

At the time my mother passed away, the doctors were unable to detect any cancer.  They ran every test imaginable that kept coming out negative for cancer.  They said she had cirrhosis of the liver which they thought might have been caused by the treatments.  We were unaware there was a risk of causing more damage to the liver with the treatments.  She got 23 treatments of radiation which was stopped after she accumulated fluid in her abdomen.  She had ascites two weeks before they stopped the radiation.  Has anyone ever heard of radiation or chemo causing cirrhosis?  Mona

Re: Can cirrhosis of the liver be caused by radiation?

Hi Mona,  I have never heard of it.  Were they treated your mom for cholangiocarcinoma? In which way did they not detect cancer? In my husbands final months with cc we were told he had cirrhosis of the liver. Which came first the cirrhosis or the cc I don't know. He was not a heavy drinker. Hope you find some answers. Nancy

Loving my husband from afar.

Re: Can cirrhosis of the liver be caused by radiation?

Hi Mona:

There is such a thing as RILD, Radiation Induced Liver Disease, which used to be referred to as Radiation Induced Cirrhosis. I think the older terminology was too limiting. Anyway, I don't have definitive information on this since I'm just a patient In the midst of researching it in my own case. I started treatment non-cirrhotic. I've had two resections and my liver was doing perfectly. After radiation ... brachytherapy and external beam...my liver numbers have been elevating, and I am mildly jaundiced. I am currently cancer free. My doctors vary in their opinion as to whether this is RILD. Such cases usually resolve themselves, so we're sort of waiting it out, but a small minority of such cases do lead to advanced stage liver disease and death.

So, this might be what your mother's physicians were referring to.

Best, Mark

Re: Can cirrhosis of the liver be caused by radiation?

Oh, and I probably should have mentioned that RILD is very rare. I am being treated at a major cancer center with expertise in cc, and it's obvious they have not seen this occur much if at all. That's by way of saying, I don't think our doctors are keeping something from us, I think it's just not an expected outcome.

Mark