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Little steps

Posted: Wed Jan 28, 2015 8:40 pm
by hannie
Well I have only posted a few times but I've got to say this forum has been great.
Just knowing am not alone and find out information that I probably wouldn't be told.
Though am determined to ask everything I can for my mum.
Just had her biopsy which went well but she did have a few panic attacks and was kept in over night. So now just the waiting game for results.

What I would like to ask is do they take more than 1 sample from the liver? Also specialist nurse said it was so they can find where primary cancer is from? Hate that different members of staff say different things...
From its gone to the liver and then ds1500 said suspected.. I think I just hate this limbo feelings. Wish things was quicker but it's not been month yet since we got told.

At least got a macmillian nurse coming to see my mum and even the district wants to come and see how my mum is even though am giving clexane.

Sorry I've just gone on...
Maybe that's what am going to use this forum for. Just being able to talk about it all is helping with the overwhelming feelings I have.

Thanks Hannah

Re: Little steps

Posted: Wed Jan 28, 2015 11:35 pm
by Didge
Hi Hannah. I don't know about whether they would take more than one sample. My fella never had a biopsy of his liver, they just saw it on the scan. Are the suggesting that maybe it's not pancreatic cancer but some other kind of primary which has spread to the pancreas and possible the liver? I suppose that might affect which chemo was offered. Hopefully you'll get the results soon. Thinking of you. x

Re: Little steps

Posted: Thu Jan 29, 2015 10:49 am
by hannie
The can see it in the tail of pancreas from the ct scan and that's what it is being put on her sick note. I think am going to go with what the consultant has said as my sister said that nurse just briefly looked from her notes. Only time will tell.

Re: Little steps

Posted: Thu Jan 29, 2015 2:25 pm
by PCUK Nurse Dianne
Thanks Hannie,

I am sorry to hear of your mothers diagnosis, and hopefully I can answer your question for you about the biopsy. You mention your mother's tumour is in the tail of the pancreas, and as there has been a liver biopsy taken this would suggest there is something of concern in the liver.

The reasons for a biopsy may be two fold: if there is a suspicious lesion in the liver it is worth determining if this is actually malignant and if so if it is the same cancer cells that would arise from the pancreas (for example 'adenocarcinoma consistent with a pancreatic primary'). Secondly to ascertain and confirm a diagnosis for some patients, ie if the liver lesion is a metastatic deposit (so cancer cells that have spread from another site) this will give you a diagnosis of the cancer cells and what they are consistent with (so in a patient with a suspected diagnosis of pancreatic cancer the liver lesion may have the same cells). So this does tie in with the comment from Didge (thanks Didge).

One of the other reasons for performing a liver biopsy is to determine the exact nature of the liver lesion, they are not always indicative of cancer. There are many benign conditions of the liver that may show up as small 'spots/lesions' and this would affect treatment outcomes. For example some people may have an 'haemangioma' in the liver which is a benign collection of blood cells, that would not necessarily be biopsied but would require further imaging. If it is automatically assumed that the liver lesions/spots are cancerous, this may exclude a patient from potential pancreatic surgery, so as you can see it is important in treatment decision making too. You ask if one biopsy is all that is taken, and this may depend upon the individual, ie if there is more than 1 liver lesion, the location in the liver and access to same; as of course with all procedures there are risks associated, so if one suitable biopsy specimen has been taken it would not be necessary to take more than one if this may increase the risk of adverse events (ie risk of bleeding in liver biopies).

I hope this is helpful and thank you for those of you who have commented.

Dianne
Support Team

Re: Little steps

Posted: Thu Jan 29, 2015 5:42 pm
by hannie
Thank you Dianne
Your reply makes everything seem so much clearer.