Oncology Questions? Ask an Oncologist for Answers ASAP
This is Dr. David
usually skin cancer does not spread to the liver.
more likely inflammation of the gall baldder or gall bladder stone causing the pain.
or inflammation of the pancreas possibly
does she drink alcohol or is overweight? these can cause your gall bladder or pancreas to be inflamed and cause pain.
what type of skin cancer did she have before?
a malignant melanoma?
that is the more common type of skin cancer which can spread.
yes, malignant melanoma can spread to the liver.
if the liver is full of malignant melanoma, this can cause pain in the liver.
cancer spread to the liver can cause loss of appetite.
is she under the care of a cancer doctor?
she might benefit from palliative radiation therapy to her liver to help decrease pain.
palliative means to help decrease symptoms.
if her malignant melanoma cancer has spread to her liver, then it is no longer curable.
her doctors can treat her and try to help decrease symptoms, but they can not cure the cancer.
the prognosis is not good and she could only have 6-12 months to live possibly. but that is an average range.
not if the cancer has spread to the liver and is causing pain.
that sounds like too much melanoma cancer in the liver to do surgery.
chemotherapy can slow down the growth of the melanoma, but will not cure the cancer.
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.
do you know if her melanoma has been tested for BRAF mutation?
I would go with her to her next oncologist appointment and find out.
the cancer still might not be able to be cured if there is spread to the liver.
but it can be treated to slow down growth, if there is BRAF mutation or not.
cancer patients can not undergo a liver transplant.
because once you have a liver transplant, you have to go on immunosuppressive drugs to prevent rejection of the organ.
and immunosuppression drugs will cause her cancer to grow even more.
mutation testing of melanoma to check for BRAF mutation.
if braf mutation positive, then Zelboraf
if braf mutation negative then yervoy with chemotherapy is an option as well.
any sort of treatment will just slow it down for a bit
there are more aggressive interferon therapy which is toxic which can be more aggressive therapy.