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  • Shared Experiences

    I was diagnosed with bowel cancer in Jan 2011 and now have secondary liver cancer, I would like to know what my long term prognosis is?

    I was diagnosed with bowel cancer in Jan 2011, There were also small tumors on my lungs and several tumors on my liver, and following an operation for removal of part of by bowel, I am now undergoing chemotherapy with Avastin, f5u and oxyplatin. I had a cat scan in March and it appears that the rumors on my lungs have shrunk and cavitation has started, the liver rumors, of which there were two many to surgically remove, have also shrunk.

    The initial opinion of the oncologist was that the liver rumors were probably in curable but manageable

    I am 51 years old and have always been healthy and active.



    I am afraid to ask for a long term prognosis however I think I need more information to help me plan my future.



    Any comments or help is appreciated.
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • Bowel Cancer Australia is the leading community-funded charity dedicated to prevention, early diagnosis, research, quality treatment and care for everyone affected by bowel cancer. We … View Profile

    Hi John,

    Thank you very much for your question.

    It is difficult for many of our bowel cancer patients when they are told there are secondary cancers present, asking certain questions may make it feel too real or too pessimistic, but being informed is important for both you and your family.



    Lung and liver tumours are often dealt with by Oncologists as a long term management plan due to the fact that they can not remove the tumours altogether, aiming for the tumours to remain small in size and limiting further growth or spread.



    Further information on lung and liver tumours is available on the Bowel Cancer Australia website:



    Advanced Bowel Cancer Information



    Secondary Liver Cancer Information



    Secondary Lung Cancer Information



    I do believe it is important to have a very open and honest dialogue with your Oncologist, and ask:what they believe is to be your next step? how long the chemotherapy will be administered?are there any further therapies he/she would consider (such as SIRT therapy used for liver tumours)?



    Further information on SIRT therapy is available on the Bowel Cancer Australia website at: Selective Internal Radiation Therapy (SIRT).



    Your doctor, Oncologist and/or Gastroenterologist will always be happy to discuss any concerns with you, and it may help stop your mind from racing with too many unanswered questions.



    Further information on treatment options and questions you might like to to ask your Oncologist and Gastroenterologist are available on the Bowel Cancer Australia website at: Putting your treatment plan together.



    We hope we have been assistance, and answered your question. Please do let us know if you have any further questions.



    Wishing you all the best for your ongoing treatment.





    Kind regards

    Tammy
    Bowel Cancer Australia Nurse Advisor

    Please Note: Bowel Cancer Australia's Nurse and Nutritionist Advisory services are subject to the following disclaimer.

  • 1

    Thanks

    Natalie Heaslip

    HealthShare Member

    Hi John,



    My partner Michael who is 38yrs is in the same position as yourself. We were diagnosed in June with Advanced Metastic Bowel cancer(lungs and liver as well). Like you Michael has too many liver tumors to operate on and we too have been told that they hope to manage these. Mike had an Anterior Bowel Resection and he is on 6 months of Chemo and Avastin……3 down 9 to go. Personally I am too finding not knowing what the future holds for us to be extremely daunting. The fact that they can't cure but only manage…….. I think I am going to start writing my questions down for our oncologist next week. Goodluck on your journey John,

  • John Williams

    HealthShare Member

    Hi Natalie and Micheal,



    My first cycle of treatment is now in its final stages. I have had 9 out of 12 sessions. the second scan has shown that the shrinkage in the liver tumors has slowed down, however they were encouraged by my blood tests, which indicate a reduction in the cancer cells - I think?

    The oncologist tells me that the hope is that the liver tumors remain dormant and that one option, after the first session of chemo is over is to go on maintenance which means you get topped up as necessary.

    The nurses at chemo have been great, however in some cases the mangement of the side effects has been something I have had to work out myself by trial and error.

    If I can be of any help to Michael with this please let me know.

    Good luck to you both and I look forward to keeping in touch.

  • Natalie Heaslip

    HealthShare Member

    Thankyou John.

    We have just completed number 4 treatment. Mike is feeling it this time,very tired and the back pain is quite bad this time. Looks like after the 12th Chemo treatment our Oncologist would like to continue the Avastin every 3 weeks and maintain oral chemo. We will see how we go when the time comes. Michael's blood's are good and his weight has levelled out which is good. 1st Ct scan not for another 3 weeks though. Hope your going ok John. Cheers.

  • Bowel Cancer Australia is the leading community-funded charity dedicated to prevention, early diagnosis, research, quality treatment and care for everyone affected by bowel cancer. We … View Profile

    Hi Natalie,



    Thanks so much for your posts, and for being a part of the Bowel Cancer Community on Healthshare.



    Please do let us know if we can offer any advice, or help by answering any questions you or your partner might have.



    If you do have any queries or concerns - please feel free to contact us at Bowel Cancer Australia if you would like any advice from our nurse and nutritionist advisory service, or if you would like more information on joining our Love My Family group, in helping spread the word about bowel cancer and / or if you would like to be put in contact with other patients similar in a similar situation.



    We wish you and your partner all the very best in his ongoing fight with cancer.



    Kind regards



    The team at Bowel Cancer Australia.



    Please Note: Bowel Cancer Australia's Nurse and Nutritionist Advisory services are subject to the following disclaimer.

  • Someone someone

    HealthShare Member

    Hi John

    My husband was diagnosed with colon cancer and liver mets in Feb 2009. He has had a bowel resection, 2 liver resections (one unsucessful) three rounds of chemo, SIRT and has now undergone nano knife which is a relatively new treatment where the tumor is “electricuted”. We are hopeful that the one tumor in his liver has been destroyed with this treatment. He will have a PET scan in 4 weeks to confirm meanwhile he continues on maintenance chemo of 5FU & Avastin. My husband always is positive and refuses to “give up”. and continues to amaze me with his strength of character. I hope everyone on this site can show the same strength to fight this horrible disease.

  • Bowel Cancer Australia is the leading community-funded charity dedicated to prevention, early diagnosis, research, quality treatment and care for everyone affected by bowel cancer. We … View Profile

    Hi Judy,



    We have just read your post re: your husband's fight with cancer. It is very moving and uplifting to hear your husband, who has endured so much, still remains so positive. 



    On behalf of Bowel Cancer Australia, we would like to wish you and your husband all the very best in his ongoing fight with cancer.



    If you have any queries or concerns - please feel free to contact us at Bowel Cancer Australia if you would like any advice from our nurse and nutritionist advisory service, or if you would like more information on joining our Love My Family group, in helping spread the word about bowel cancer and / or if you would like to be put in contact with other patients similar in a similar situation.





    Kind regards



    The team at Bowel Cancer Australia.



    Please Note: Bowel Cancer Australia's Nurse and Nutritionist Advisory services are subject to the following disclaimer.

  • Hangingonin

    HealthShare Member

    Hi Someone,
    Very inspired to hear of your husband journey, this disease is a real horrible. My sister (42 yrs old & has 2 young children, 5 and 7 yrs old), was diagnosed with advanced bowel cancer in oct2010.
    I have posted some details with heading of ‘advanced bowel cancer’ so if you would want to read.
    She has the SIRT procedure done last Tuesday and been felling weaker everyday.
    My sister has been a fighter, though, I am scared she may shy out a bit this time as she put it “too hard”.
    I am the sole carer for her and it is a torture to see what she is going through.

  • 1

    Thanks

    Christine Macfadyen

    HealthShare Member

    I was wondering how you are going John Robert?  It has been a while since you posted and am inquisitive to see how your life is travelling now.  My Dad who has 4th stage cancer in lungs, liver and kidney is back on weekly chemo treatments as he ‘could not be relied upon to take the medication’ (as stated by the oncologist) so to ensure he is getting the medication he needs, he spends 35 mins per week having his treatment intravenously.  They said he is ‘serious’ but clarified that by saying anyone with cancer is serious, but the cancer for him is slow due to his age (82) so with grandchildren and Great Grandchildren coming over for Christmas, we hope he will be able to enjoy Christmas with us.  Mum had a stroke in Feb when my brother passed away (also from bowel and liver cancer) but she seems to be coping ok at the moment.  Please give us some feedback about how you are.  Thank you  Chris

  • 1

    Thanks

    John Williams

    HealthShare Member

    Hi Chris,
    Thanks for your post.
    My current treatment is Erbitux (Certuximab) which is infussed fortnightly, it is an antibody rather than a chemotherapy drug.I have had 10 doses so far and initial results indicated some shrinkage of both the liver and lung tumors.
    The most recent scans show that the tumor sizes are unchanged which my oncologist is pleased about.
    The side effects are relatively mild compared to chemo, the only real issue is an acne type rash on most parts of my body. Antibiotics help control it to some extent.
    I still have side effects (tinlges in the hands and feet) from the initial chemo which was over 12 months ago. 
    Life at the moment for me is pretty good apart from the uncertainty.

    Thanks again for your interest
    Good luck
    John

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