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Dr. David
Dr. David, Doctor (MD)
Category: Oncology
Satisfied Customers: 43403
Experience:  Board Certified Oncologist
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My mum is 55 with skin cancer that has re-appeared and has

Resolved Question:

My mum is 55 with skin cancer that has re-appeared and has been removed several times. She has has some pain in the liver/ Gaul bladder area and went in for an ultrasound. They suggested that there was an issue with her liver but have yet to provide their report or confirm what the problem is. What could it be, could it be something not as serious as cancer?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Oncology
Expert:  Dr. David replied 2 years ago.

Dr. David :

This is Dr. David

Dr. David :

usually skin cancer does not spread to the liver.

Dr. David :

more likely inflammation of the gall baldder or gall bladder stone causing the pain.

Dr. David :

or inflammation of the pancreas possibly

Dr. David :

does she drink alcohol or is overweight? these can cause your gall bladder or pancreas to be inflamed and cause pain.

Customer: It spread to behind my mums eye once and my mum had radiation treatment and now she can't see out of that eye but the cancer went. I think my mum has a rare type of skin cancer. Is it still possible to affect the liver?
Dr. David :

wow.

Dr. David :

what type of skin cancer did she have before?

Dr. David :

a malignant melanoma?

Dr. David :

that is the more common type of skin cancer which can spread.

Customer: Yes it is malignant melanoma - can this spread to liver? My mum has been in some pain with it. If it spreads would it cause such pain? She has lost a bit of her appetite also.
Dr. David :

yes, malignant melanoma can spread to the liver.

Dr. David :

if the liver is full of malignant melanoma, this can cause pain in the liver.

Dr. David :

cancer spread to the liver can cause loss of appetite.

Dr. David :

is she under the care of a cancer doctor?

Dr. David :

she might benefit from palliative radiation therapy to her liver to help decrease pain.

Customer: Palliative? Yes she has a cancer doctor and has an appointment next week. Does palliative mean getting rid of it is unlikely? What is the general prognosis in years if they can't get rid of it?
Dr. David :

palliative means to help decrease symptoms.

Dr. David :

if her malignant melanoma cancer has spread to her liver, then it is no longer curable.

Dr. David :

her doctors can treat her and try to help decrease symptoms, but they can not cure the cancer.

Dr. David :

the prognosis is not good and she could only have 6-12 months to live possibly. but that is an average range.

Customer: I've read that they can do surgery and chemotherapy ?
Dr. David :

not if the cancer has spread to the liver and is causing pain.

Dr. David :

that sounds like too much melanoma cancer in the liver to do surgery.

Dr. David :

chemotherapy can slow down the growth of the melanoma, but will not cure the cancer.

Dr. David :

she should ask her doctors to test her melanoma cells for mutations like BRAF mutation since there are certain drugs such as Zelboraf which can be used for these patients.

Dr. David :

do you know if her melanoma has been tested for BRAF mutation?

Dr. David :

I would go with her to her next oncologist appointment and find out.

Customer: Not sure, if the braf mutation can be treated then is this good for prognosis?
Dr. David :

the cancer still might not be able to be cured if there is spread to the liver.

Dr. David :

but it can be treated to slow down growth, if there is BRAF mutation or not.

Customer: Can it be treated with a liver transplant?
Dr. David :

no.

Dr. David :

cancer patients can not undergo a liver transplant.

Dr. David :

because once you have a liver transplant, you have to go on immunosuppressive drugs to prevent rejection of the organ.

Dr. David :

and immunosuppression drugs will cause her cancer to grow even more.

Customer: What drugs/treatment or surgery options are there? If cost is not an option.
Dr. David :

mutation testing of melanoma to check for BRAF mutation.

Dr. David :

if braf mutation positive, then Zelboraf

Dr. David :

if braf mutation negative then yervoy with chemotherapy is an option as well.

Customer: I mean to get rid of it for a long time. Will braf treatment just delay it a little bit? How much is zebraf?
Dr. David :

any sort of treatment will just slow it down for a bit

Dr. David :

there are more aggressive interferon therapy which is toxic which can be more aggressive therapy.

Dr. David, Doctor (MD)
Category: Oncology
Satisfied Customers: 43403
Experience: Board Certified Oncologist
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