Liver problems do I need to worry

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2 months ago I was diagnosed with Iron deficiency anaemia. Because of my age (69) I was referred for a gastroscope and colonoscopy, the gastroscope was done 12 May and confirmed already existing problems. Because of my mobility problems the colonoscopy could not be done, so a CT scan of the colon was done June 1st. That apparently showed some problem but what was not explained to me and I was asked to go for an MRI scan of the liver onJune 15th. Have now had a letter saying I have swelling in the liver which is affecting the bile ducts and have to see a consultant (for the first time) next Tuesday. Apparently I will at some point in the near future have to have an ERCP but no real explanation as to why - presumably that info will be given to me on Tuesday.  I am nervous and wonder if anyone can give me some assurance. My imagination is going into overdrive and I'm worrying about liver cancer even though my only relevant symptoms are severe tiredness (am sleeping/drowsing all but about 4 hours per day) and bloated stomach

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9 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi I'm thinking that they think you may have stones, this is why they do the ERCP because a non invasive procedure compared to an op, you will be given light sedation so you are relaxed and they can clear any blockages or stones while there in there.

    I can understand your fears but I don't think that cancer is what there looking for or they would have done a liver biopsy by now.

    Are you having weekly injections for the anemia

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    • Posted

      I don't think it is gall stones because I had my gall bladder removed about 20 years ago, and I don't think kidney stones would cause the liver to enlarge going by what people I know who had kidney stones have said.

      Apparently I have moderate anaemia so it is being dealt with by 3 ferrous fumarate tablets per day which so far is not making a lot of difference.

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    • Posted

      I now have an appointment with the consultant on Tuesday, and yes, there are strong suspicions I have cancer but not ib the liver, rather likely to be in the bile duct. There is also apparently problems with the liver prob nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
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    • Posted

      Sorry to hear that. I know too well how it feels to be handed a diagnosis like that.

      Complete strangers on this site have given me support. Sometimes you just don't want to burden family. So keep posting and let us know how you're getting on.

      I was given the advice to try and stay positive. It's hard but it was good advice. Make up your mind you're going to beat this and do everything the doctors ask of you.

      If it is bile duct cancer, I was told they can remove it and construct a new one. It's major surgery of course. In my case they opened my bile duct to remove the gallstones and sewed it back up. I'm still here, weeks on and I intend to try and keep it that way. They will also probably want to remove other tissue and lymph nodes near the bile duct at the same time.

      You will be in my thoughts.

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  • Posted

    From what I understand, it is possible to still have stones even with the gallbladder removed or that stones were left at the time of surgery and have either moved and caused a blockage in the liver or have grown in size. Bloating, a uncomfortable full feeling, is a symptom of stones.

    Do you have any signs of jaundice? Such as dark urine, pale stools, itching, yellowing of whites of eyes and yellowing of skin.

    Even if it is a worse case scenario, they can remove huge amounts of liver tissue these days and the liver regenerates within weeks.

    I'm 67, active and in otherwise good health. I had my gallbladder removed on February 4th. Histology found a small cancer in the gallbladder when they examined it. As a result I had a liver resection on March 10th using the same incision. I've been told it hasn't spread elsewhere but I'm being monitored for five years. Maybe the cholecystectomy has saved my life as it was caught early enough for me to have surgery.

    Three months on I'm feeling better than I've done in years. I have a little tenderness on my right side and I tire easily but each day I'm making more progress.

    ERCP is invasive and uncomfortable, but not painful. They sedate you so you are aware of what is going on. I would say it's not much worse than the colonoscopy you've already had.

    Go to your GP and tell him your concerns. Ask him to explain everything to you. You could be worrying over nothing.

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    • Posted

      Hi what I meant by non invasive is that the do not cut into you, its done via throat, this is classed as non invasive, but as you said, not perticulary pleasant.

      Yep you can have stones in the small intestines and the bile ducts but I'm not sure whether there removed with gallbladders

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    • Posted

      i have not actually had a colonoscopy - because I have severe mobility problems and am a wheelchair user it was not possible so had CT scan of the co.on instead. I think I am not worrying over nothing. Having spoken to my GP on Friday, I know now that there are suspicions I have cancer of the bile ducts which is why I have to have the ERCP

       

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    • Posted

      I have seen my local consultant today and how now been referred to my regional centre where there are surgeons with more experience of biliary duct cancer. I will have to have another type of scan called PET/CAT to confirm what type of lump is in the bile duct. I now know I am definitely not worrying about nothing.                                                                                  The situation is complicated because unlike you, I am not active. I have post polio syndrome which is similar to ME and am a wheelchair user. Also unlike you, I do not have great health. I have 16 different medically diagnosed long term health conditions some more serious than others.
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    • Posted

      So sorry to hear that Gill.

      How quickly will the referral happen? I found as soon as I had a cancer diagnosis, things went into overdrive, whereas before they had been dragging their heels.

      I do hope it's soon. The quicker the better really. It must be hard having so many other health issues but do try and stay positive.

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