Is liver cancer genetically linked?

Posted , 3 users are following.

my father died of liver cancer aged 77.  I was diagnosed with liver cysts a few months ago which were found by chance, I am being monitored for them but I'm worried in case this is hereditary, my GP thinks not because she said if he had died in say his 40's there is more of a chance but I would like to get a genetic test just to ease my mind.  I can't help but worry about this, other than annual scans and blood testsI don't know what else I can do.  Does anyone have a similar situation to mine?

0 likes, 9 replies

Report / Delete

9 Replies

  • Posted

    I guess you might be genetically predisposed to a higher risk of your liver cells mutating into cancer. However primary liver cancer is pretty rare, it's secondary liver cancer that is more common. It might depend on what caused your fathers primary liver cancer, for example if it was alcohol or viral hepatitis then that has nothing to do with genetics. 

    If you did discover you had a higher risk gene, what more than the regular monitoring already available could the doctors do? It's not like cancers such as breast or uterine where people have a mastectomy or hysterectomy, they can't remove your liver to reduce the risk!

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      On my father's death certificate it states 'Cholangiocarcinoma. This is uncommon. It develops from cells which line the bile duct'.  I think this may be something i need to discuss with my consultant and ask all the questions i need to ask.  I do not know if his cancer was primary or had spread from somewhere else as my father had also suffered a severe stroke which left him speechless and wheelchair bound so he couldn't even tell me what he was feeling, the first i knew about it was when he ended up in hospital after a fall and one of the nurses pointed out that he looked jaundiced and she recommended he had further testing and that's how it was found.  Looking back he had lost his appetite but it was so difficult as even though i saw him every day, the deterioration happened so quickly.   Other than a gentic test which is quite expensive, i'm not sure what else i can do to ease my mind, this is really stressing me out :-(
      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Trying to post you a link to the website for the cholangiocarcinoma website but this forum block them! You will need to google www and then ammf then a dot . and then com. They might be useful to you for information and support.
    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hi,

      There is an FAQ in the help section linked at the bottom of the page about posting links. There is no problem posting links like you are trying to but they need to be moderated. Please do not give the impression we do not allow links - they will be approved if they are genuine and not commercial. The link you are advising is below and is org not com.

      http://www.ammf.org.uk/

      Regards,

      Alan

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Thanks for that.   What i think i will do is make an appointment to speak with my GP and voice my concerns and also have a list of questions for my consultant next time i see him.  After re-checking my father's death certificate, it states (a) liver metastases and (b) cholangiocarcinoma so this now looks like he may have had cancer started elsewhere which then spread to his bile ducts so it may now not be that he had cholangiocarcinoma first - i am so confused and worried now, i couldn't sleep well last night thinking about it.  I am Type 2 diabetic also which i have inherited on my late mother's side. 
      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    I'm not sure if your GP will be able to allay your concerns about genetic links as even the specialists in this type of cancer don't know for sure. The Mayo clinic in the US has joined forces with Imperial College and are using blood sample from donors in a new study to see if there is a genetic  risk factor. 

    My guess is that the best they will offer at the moment will be to screen your bile ducts as well as the liver cysts.

    e

    Forgive my ignorance re diabetes but I thought Type 2 diabetes needed lifestyle or environmental factors to "trigger" even if the person had the gene.  Unfortunately the diabetes puts you in the risk factor for Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease, so keep up the annual scans and blood tests and perhaps check your diet and lifestyle to see if there any small changes you can make to help the diabetes and the liver.

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      I think maybe my diabetes is a combination of hereditary and being obese which I am trying to now sort out, fatty liver was also picked up along with my liver cysts although my liver function blood tests have come back ok and I've recently had them done again and still ok.  I am making lifestyle changes and I've never been a big drinker, just the odd glass of wine which I now don't drink any wine at all now.  I think like you say all I can do is keep a regular check on things, continue with my lifestyle changes and just hope I will be ok in the future.  I've heard you can reverse diabetes and fatty liver with lots of dedication but I know it won't be easy but if it is possible then that sounds really positive. 
      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Well done understanding that by losing weight you will be helping both your fatty liver and diabetes. In the short and medium term I think your health is a higher risk from these than from any genetic risk of secondary liver cancer. If stressing about the cancer helps you focus on changing your lifestyle, then so be it, but having said that stress is not good for you either. If you struggle to lose weight by yourself I suggest joining a support group,such as Slimming World or WeightWatchers. Good luck.
      Report / Delete Reply

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion Reply

Report or request deletion

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up