Cáncer de mama en hígado

Please give advice to Elke who’s sister was diagnosed with breast cancer in liver: meaning her breast cancer has spread to her liver.

metastatic liver cancer cure


Elke’s sister is undergoing chemotherapy. It’s not clear if this is done as a breast cancer treatment, a liver cancer treatment or both.


The metastatic liver cancers are ‘fast growing’ and the Herciptin chemotherapy side effects make that Elke’s sister passes out each time the chemotherapy is administered. Doctors say it is ‘some kind of allergic reaction’.


Elke’s sister is trying to protect her family from pain and her doctors tell her that she has to have hope.


Elke’s mom died from breast cancer and Elke is now searching the Internet looking for cancer treatments, answers and hope.


These are all normal reactions and since she has the experience with her mom having had breast cancer, Elke is very realistic and for sure not over-reacting.


Elke, I have been in a similar situation like you, living far away from my beloved father when he had his metastatic liver cancer, so I am going to give it fast and crude.


You lack the most crucial information which is the doctor’s diagnose told to a "neutral person" like you. Doctors gave us the crude info, only then they talked to mom and father after we "broke" the news.


I advice you to call your sister’s doctor. Knowing that German doctors are overly busy, it still isn’t too much asked to talk 10 minutes on the phone to most likely the best care-giver your sister can ever get.


Doctors have a difficult task to talk to the cancer patient, because they need to balance between:

keeping hope alive when cancer treatments are still possible, or
not making the patient even more sick, angry and depressed by giving the bad news of an incurable cancer.In my opinion,


FALSE HOPE is the worst medicine for everybody.

Clear information is the best way to challenge life.


Or like I wrote in cancer treatment options :



The choice you need to make is: do we keep on looking for a cure or do we accept there aren’t any cancer treatment options anymore.


So ask your sister’s doctor: can the cancer still be cured with cancer treatments?


If so, what is the suggested cancer treatment, what are the different liver and breast cancer treatment options and how is the outlook considering your sister has problems with the chemotherapy side effects.


Ask your sister’s doctor: can’t your sister be cured anymore and is the chemotherapy just part of palliative care? Only in that case you can consider if continuing the Herciptin chemotherapy is doing her any good considering the chemotherapy side effects you described.


Summarized:

call and ask her doctor the cancer prognosis and
whether she is undergoing breast cancer treatment, liver cancer treatment or
is she undergoing chemotherapy to ‘hopefully give her an easier palliative care’.

First we gathered the crucial information that only the doctors know who are dealing with the patient.


We asked father’s doctors, and sending a fax with the cancer diagnosis to all our overseas family members was only a matter of asking 2 minutes of time from the doctor’s secretary.


In the mean time we looked allover the Internet and asked for second, third and more opinions about alternative cancer treatments.


You need to have this clear, ask a second opinion with any doctor you trust in the US and only then you can make adequate decisions.


In my case, I came back from overseas 2 times.

the first time asap when mom called father was diagnosed with cancer, so I still was able to help out during the rest of his medical tests, biopsy and diagnosis.

Since there was no cancer treatment to cure father’s metastatic liver cancer, we immediately looked for all the palliative and cancer care available.


Father lived in Belgium and although their health system is great: they do have short waiting lists. (one turned out to be about 2 years though… really useless).


Having all cancer care sorted out when father could still take care of his own was a great relief.


We had every help in place just before father was really in need of care. That’s good so father was already acquainted with the care givers.

At the time father wasn’t able to take care of himself anymore, I quit my job and visited father again for an extended period to help mom out as good as possible.

Father told me during my first visit after he was diagnosed with cancer and he had chosen not to undergo further cancer treatments:



no need to do anything for me…


Strong people don’t want to bother anybody, but we all know that most people do want help and will accept it easily from their loved ones.


That’s were I personally don’t see the point in "protecting her family like your sister does". Protecting for what?


For me it would have even more painful to suddenly receive an announcement that my father would have died without even me knowing he was sick let alone not to be able to help out nor to walk the difficult road together.


But today it’s not about me, it’s about you and your sister.


We have German’s in our family who said:



if the patient doesn’t want your help, you should respect the patient’s wish.


I don’t share that point of view because:

we were not talking about ‘a patient’ but about my father. In your case you are not talking about ‘a patient’, but you are talking about your sister.

Since I assume your mother has had breast cancer treatments, I guess she also had to take pain medication, so you know that painkillers cause constipation.


The theoretical solution is to give laxatives. Just that balancing the right amount of laxatives with painkillers is easier said than done. Yet you will become an expert from a novice in lots of things once you are helping out a cancer patient.


Elke left her cancer story in a comment at : One caregiver is never enough! Patrick’s father has metastatic liver cancer:



My sister has breast cancer spread to both lobes of her liver.


My sister who lives in Germany was diagnosed in September 08 with stage 4 breast cancer which had already invaded both sides of her liver. They can not operate and it is a very fast and aggressive spreading cancer.


She receives pain medication which makes her constipated and chemo (taxol) along with Herciptin. The later has caused some big allergic reactions.


The second time she received Herciptin she went into some kind of a shock the doctor said it was an allergic reaction. She turned ice cold could not breath and kind of passed out, and had to be given medication to come around. The next week it was the opposite, 2 minutes into the treatment she said she felt like burning up and she rolled her eyes and passed out. Lucky there was one more patient in the treatment room who alerted the doctor to check on her. It took them a while to get her out of it again. Again she was told it is an allergic reaction and next time she is getting something at the same time to prevent this.


She is very sick all the time, difficulty breathing, nausea and of course all other side effects apply.


My sister is trying to protect her family an 18 year old son, husband and our father by not telling them the whole status of her health problem. She asked the doctor not to tell them the whole truth and I am the only one who knows more details. She is trying very hard on the phone to play everything down. I think to make it easier on me to, or she might not know the truth herself to the full extend.


She does not want me to come over yet, until she feels better and stronger again. I live in Missouri, USA and it is not easy for me to visit that often either, but of course I would come right away and see her if she is okay with seeing me.


So I do not know if she knows the full extend of her cancer or if I am overreacting and that there is a chance she can live many more years.


I am afraid that something could happen very quickly while receiving her medication, and I did not see her again.


She is my only younger sister and just turned only 47 years old, I can and will not accept to loose her anytime soon.


I am very, very sad and have searched the Internet up and down for hours to find something to give me hope for her. Most of the time I only read that if the cancer has metastases to the liver it is always fatal, in a matter of fact extremely fast going towards the end.


People at work tell me I should just go and visit her, regardless of her wishes to wait until later. If I would do this, her family would become very suspicious, because I just paid a visit in March 08 and normally come around every 2 or 3 years.


When our mother died in 2004 in her seventies of breast cancer I came in between and everybody knew why, except my mother. She died however while I was back in the states so I did not get to say good bye either.


Only people who had this in their family can understand the feelings of sadness and anger at the same time. I keep thinking about my poor sister all alone with her fear and pain, because she has nobody to talk too. She wants to protect all of us from pain, while she really needs moral support.


Does anyone know how long she will still be with us. Is there a chance of a miracle and she would recover again, that means the tumors on the liver would shrink at least. She was told that she has very fast growing tumors, but to my knowledge was not given a time, but the doctor said, she has to have hope.


Is this just to calm her down, is chemotherapy even doing her any good at this time?


Is she suffering even more from the chemotherapy side effects, and it has no effect on significantly extend her remaining time? Would she die sooner without chemo or is it about the same. Does anybody know this.


Thanks for any information and hope you can give.


Elke


Getting the complete diagnosis, cancer prognosis and possible outcome ‘based on the doctor’s experience’ is crucial.


Contact your sister’s doctor and ask all the cancer information you need to know, especially ask whether there is a cancer treatment that can cure your sister or has the doctor already categorized your sister into palliative care.


Ask a second opinion and make a decision how to take care of your sister who also happens to have breast cancer in liver.


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