• 39 yr old wife was diagnosed in May with Stage 4 colon cancer (mets to the liver and lymph nodes). Her liver is quite swollen. Thoughts?

    Asked by TRUSTANDFIGHT on Tuesday, October 30, 2012

    39 yr old wife was diagnosed in May with Stage 4 colon cancer (mets to the liver and lymph nodes). Her liver is quite swollen. Thoughts?

    She has been having chemo every other week since June. She is now undergoing radiation for a spot on her spine and a spot on her skull. The swollen liver can't be a good sign, but how much of an indicator is it really? What other negative signs should we be watching for.

    4 Answers from the Community

    4 answers
    • FreeBird's Avatar

      I feel for you both. Did the doctor say the liver is enlarged? Or does your wife feel that it's swollen? It's certainly not a great thing. It can happen when there's cancer in the liver. But the doctor can order a blood test that will give them some idea of liver function. If she has metastases to the liver, she probably is already getting that test regularly. http://labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/liver-panel/tab/sample Be sure to ask for a copy of any blood lab results. Some other things to watch for are jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin) and itching that are caused when there is blockage of the bile ducts in the liver.... also if she gets very tired and her mind seems that it's not all there-- acting confused.... or she may be feeling a lot of pain right under the rib cage on the right side that she's probably feeling anyway with the cancer and liver involvement..... ascites or a big swollen belly.... these are all signs that there can be something serious going on with the liver. Your only option really is to ask the doctor and not rely on online advice, because it's such a complicated problem. They have the disciplined study of the body in their history, loads of experience, and they're familiar with your wife's overall health situation.

      almost 4 years ago
    • FreeBird's Avatar

      These are some of the things I watch for with my dad, for whom I am a caregiver. He also has metastasis to his liver. The only two the doctor really mentioned to expect are extreme sleepiness, and mental confusion if there is a serious problem with the liver.

      almost 4 years ago
    • mc3318's Avatar

      My mom (who passed in August) was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer with mets to the liver back in April. She had been admitted to the hospital with a very swollen belly, and when they operated, they found advanced stage cancer. I was told to look for many of the same symptoms FreeBird mentioned - jaundice (which the doctors swore she would experience), loss of appetite, confusion, pain. We were lucky - the pain was only bad enough for high pain meds the last week or so, and she never experienced jaundice. The confusion/anger/restlesness did set in, but as we were in a nursing home/hospice setting, we were never able to diagnose if it was from mets to the brain (which she had been tested for in April, and found negative), or the liver not processing the body's toxins. This was by far the worst symptom, as she often acted very out of character, blaming my dad, the doctors, and everyone else for the cancer, and refusing to talk about it. I would definitely recommend keeping in close contact with her doctors to learn what to expect, but remember everyone is very different. Even in her final hours, my mom refused to do what was expected, surprising everyone when she finally went peacefully when I stepped away from her room! Her fight was unique, as will be your wife's.

      almost 4 years ago
    • cindylou92's Avatar

      I am very sorry for your situation. I was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer in Oct, 2012
      (mets to liver). I was 37. I have since had part of my colon removed (no bag) and 70% of my liver removed, along with 2 rounds of FloFox5 chemo. I have just had my 2nd CT scan last week and have received the "all clear". Please do not give up hope! There are miracles done each day. Listen & communicate with your Doctors OFTEN! She is young but will still need everything in her to fight. I strongly suggest a support group for her & you. Please feel free to ask any questions of me.

      almost 4 years ago

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