Topic: Is this good news? What to do next?
Well, my mum got her first post-chemo (after 3 rounds) scan results today. The scan was an MRI. I think it’s good news but i’m not too sure. To recap, my mum has a 14 x 9cm mass in her liver, with satellites. She is currently on Gem/Cis. Symptom-wise she seems totally fine; you wouldn’t know she was ill. Prior to starting chemo my mum had a few scans and within 3 months with no treatment, her tumours didn’t grow at all - so we were thankful that they seemed to be very slow growing. My mum thinks that she’s had this tumour for years as she’s always had a slight ache in her liver area, which she mentioned to the docs years ago, but they said that it was nothing.
To cut a long story short(er), my mum saw a great surgeon a few months ago, who said that if her tumour stayed stable or shrunk on chemo, then he felt that it is possible to take it out. He felt that the tumour is removable, despite its size, though he really wanted the satellites to be gone before he operated. My mum’s scan today showed that the main tumour has stayed stable, although one of the little satellites has grown by 5mm.
I guess I have a few (million) questions but I will condense it in to three:
1) Is it normal to consider taking out a mass this big? It seems like a big undertaking to me and I haven’t read anything of the sorts on this board.
2) Our Oncologist says that after the next few rounds of chemo, there’s nothing more that we can do, apart from clinical trials (of which there are none currently running in the UK). I also know from this board that there are still many things to try and we are not throwing in the towel this early in the game. In the UK our docs are a bit restrained as to which drugs they are ‘allowed’ to try out on patients. Any ideas about what we should do next, if the surgeon says no to resection next week? Percy, you’re particularly good with this stuff, and your wisdom here would be greatly received.
3) Also, is it worth getting a PET scan? I ask this because my mum has seemed SO much healthier on chemo than beforehand, it’s hard to imagine that nothing has changed at all with the cancer. Perhaps a PET would show that parts of the tumour are now inactive, and obviously an MRI can’t pick this up. Just a thought.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated, as always. We do continue to feel a little like we’re fumbling in the dark, but this board keeps us all sane.