Medical Q&As

Liver cancer - prognosis?

My best friend is 37-years-old and has cancer of the liver that has spread to a nearby main artery. He has been advised to take chemotherapy starting in about a week .The original source of the cancer seems to have been his colon. As he is now 8 stone is the route of chemotherapy a good one, and broadly what are his chances and outlook given the seriousness of his disease.

It is difficult to give a prognosis when not in possession of all the relevant medical information. Only the doctors involved in your friendís care could give a full answer to your question. The treatment options are very limited. Surgery would have nothing to offer since the tumour has spread beyond its primary source in the bowel and is now spreading beyond the liver into surrounding blood vessels. Radiation is not an option either since the cancer appears to be quite diffuse and not localised in a well-circumscribed area that can be discretely targeted. Chemotherapy appears to be the only option and it appears to me that its purpose in the case of your friend is to slow the rate of progression of the cancer and not to cure it. Given the extent and seriousness of his disease the medium to long-term outlook for your friend does not appear to be good.