Is it rare to find liver mets before primary?

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Hi all,

I am wondering if anyone knows if it's rare to find liver mets before primary cancer? After some health problems I have been told following an ultrasound that a growth was spotted on my liver.

Really really bad timing as I am literally about to go on a much awaited family holiday for 2wks.

Would I be being silly to worry that this could be liver mets before the primary was found? I thought I had gallstones, had an ultrasound and was told the next day that there was no stones but something spotted on my liver. My GP said it's probably benign but I'd hear about a CAT or MRI scan from the radiologist.

Thanks

A

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6 Replies

  • Posted

    I think it's not that not uncommon to find mets before primary, it can be the fist sigh & also most like to be benign & no primary. Are you expecting a malignancy for any reason? I hope not, good luck!
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  • Posted

    Many thanks for replying. I've been suffering upper stomach pain & back pain, mostly to the right side but has varied, even seemed to radiate to my pelvis. I was convinced it was gallbladder related.

    Pelvic scan was fine. I had a breat cyst last yr, it wasn't biopsied but dr was happy it wasn't sinister. My mum died of breast cancer as did her sister, age 51. My dad has rare blood leaukemia.

    The persistent back pain is really worrying me but perhaps I am being paranoid? I will try to talk to a radiologist or someone before I go away Tues evening.

    A

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    • Posted

      i can see why you're worried about breast cancer, just because your mom and her sister had it young. They're risk factors and it just means it's good to follow it closely.   Was your breast cyst big enough that you could feel it?  did it go down?  Or hasn't gotten bigger?  near and around menopause there can be benign cysts that come and go.  Glad your doctor thought it was fine. 

      My best friend since grade school, age 10, we're 66 now, was having close frequent follow ups for breast cancer because her younger sister had it.  Her sister had a lumpectomy.  It's been many years since then and her sister is still OK.  About 3+ years ago, my friend got diagnosed with breast cancer, no evidence of spread to lymph glands, localized, but she elected to have a total mastectomy.  She wanted to minimize her chances of getting it again. She also chose to have chemo. She's been doing good. She does various health things, not a lot but she is making gradual lifestyle changes in that direction.   She continues to have regular pretty frequent visits with her breast doctor. She also sees her oncologist and they do periodic scans, but she is on her way to being pronouced cured. She had reconstructive breast surgery and that looks good. 

      Hopefully you can follow the breasts closely so that if you did get cancer, it would be early and successfully treatable.  My friend said the type she had is some really aggressive kind, so it's good that she has been on top of monitoring it and caught it when it showed up early. 

      As for the liver, the liver is usually painless.  Symptoms of pain are usually thought to be related to the gall bladder.  i believe that usually the only way the liver has pain is if it has some kind of advanced cancer or cirrhosis.  Your ultrasound seems to rule out any advanced liver disease, although i'm not sure about cirrhosis, but with that there should be blood tests showing abnormal liver related results. You can ask your doctor about that. 

      i can understand the back and stomach pain worrying you.  Both back and stomach pain are so nonspecific, they can be caused by so many things, a lot of which are never discovered and eventually they go away, but i understand wanting to find out what it is.  

      I hope you have a good time.  It's natural to worry, but hopefully there would be things to distract you and make you happy.  You're probably fine. i know what it's like to have scary symptoms and no explanation, and i have worried a lot about those things.  Eventually it was all figured out, but it's hard to not know what's going on.  Talking to a radiologist or someone who can give you more information sounds like a good idea.  

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    • Posted

      thank you Jaw, a really helpful post. I guess getting the call at 5pm on a Friday was hard too as I've ruminated over it all wk end. 

      Hopefully I'll manage to talk to someone, but otherwise I have to get my head into gear and go enjoy my hols with my lovely kids, they will certainly distract me smile

      x

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  • Posted

    It is quite common to have cysts on the liver. Many people do not even know they have them and they are quite benign. You say they said 'growths', that can mean anything! The real only way is the MRI specifically to see any mets. It can happen they can be found, before a primary but it is usually a symptomatic cancer by that time.

    Go have your holiday.

    ( I am in a similar position with testing and decided my 4 week holiday overseas is much better than sitting home worrying, so go!)

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    • Posted

      Thanks Redwoodgirl!! I am getting on that plane no matter.. just a case that I would rather not be worrying whilst away & experiencing the pains.. C'est la via I gues...

      A four week holiday sounds awesome smile 

      x

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