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Is it ever not liver cancer??

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I had an MRI last week (without contrast) to look at my adrenals due to a blood pressure issue. (I have Epstein Barr Virus and it’s caused a lot of random issues) Well, that MRI popped up with a 1.3 lesion on my liver! Now I get to have another one done, with contrast, in a 3T MRI machine. I have had pain on my right side for many years, has gall bladder removed in 2014, and it didn’t resolve the pain. It’s pretty constant, but I hurt everywhere else too. Breast cancer in 2015. My last MRI was in 2017 tho and the lesion wasn’t there. Definitely on the crazy train here!!! Anyone have a 3T MRI? I’m highly claustrophobic and extremely worried about mets to my liver. Help??

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  • exbrnxgrl
    exbrnxgrl Member Posts: 4,830
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    cat fur,

    I am sorry that you find yourself in this position. I think it’s pretty difficult to predict whether you have liver mets or not based on the experiences of others. This period of waiting is nerve wracking . As for your MRI, is it possible that you mean a 3D MRI? Regardless, if you are very claustrophobic relaxation breathing and wearing and eye mask can be helpful. One last thing regarding the title of this thread. Breast cancer metastasis is still breast cancer and is treated as such regardless of the location. So, it would not be liver cancer, which is a very different thing! I have bone mets but not bone cancer. The distinction is important since liver cancer would be an entirely new and different disease than breast cancer. Take care.

  • catfurr
    catfurr Member Posts: 39
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    Thank you for replying so quickly! It is definitely a 3T MRI. It’s supposedly more accurate as it is 3 times the magnetic strength as the regular 1.5 machine. Will be taking extra Ativan. I hate this, trying to control the “what if’s”😔 Working full time helps keep me busy, but the pain in my side is a constant reminder that somethings not right..

  • exbrnxgrl
    exbrnxgrl Member Posts: 4,830
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    catfurr,

    Yes, it isn’t easy to still the mind from the “what if’s”. Thank you for letting me know about 3T mri. This retired teacher believes in being a life long learner! Ativan is a great idea and work is a wonderful distraction. Besides work, do something good for yourself while you wait. Take care.

  • wised
    wised Member Posts: 184
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    I had a suspicious liver lesion checked in 2015 when I was being treated for colon cancer. It turned out to be fat... there are other benign lesions you can have on your liver, but fat is the most common. I'm glad they are following up on this and I hope it goes well for you.

  • dutchiegirl
    dutchiegirl Member Posts: 76
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    Catfurr, I totally feel you! I had a very flippant surgeon who mentioned in an offhand way that there was a lesion on my liver and that I would need a follow up CT in three months. My oncologist emphatically stated that I did not need a follow up. Over time, I’ve had chest CTs and my liver has been stable. I think the lungs and the liver both can develop nodules that are benign. It’s so scary, I know. I have severe “scanxiety” and was relieved that I FINALLY won’t be having any more follow up CTs for my lungs. I can tell you not to worry but that’s not helpful. Just know that it can be a benign condition. Hoping and praying that all goes well for you!

  • alicebastable
    alicebastable Member Posts: 1,944
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    I've also had things show up on my liver, and it's just a fat deposit. It's amazing how much crud our interiors accumulate over the years, most of which is NOT cancer!

  • beesie.is.out-of-office
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    Another one here with an incidental finding (from an abdominal CT) of a benign lesion on my liver... and on my pancreas and my kidney and my adrenal gland. The latest CT spotted one more in there but I can't remember which organ. Yup, lots of accumulated crud.

    An ultrasound tech I had earlier this year told me that the medical term for requiring follow-up after an incidental finding on imaging is VOMIT, victim of medical imaging technology. A new one I've learned since then is BARF, brainless application of radiologic findings. None of it is too bad (except emotionally) if the follow-up is just more imaging but it becomes concerning, even within the medical community, when it leads to unnecessary invasive procedures.

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    Good luck with the MRI. Hope your's is benign too.



  • mountainmia
    mountainmia Member Posts: 857
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    I don't know what MRIs see, relative to US. I had an US in August that showed a cyst on my liver. Does that show up as concerning on MRI? I don't know. None of the docs -- radiologist, MO, or PCP -- were at all concerned about my cyst.

    So yeah, a spot on your liver can be different things, and I hope yours is benign, too. Either way, I hope you get some relief for your ongoing pain.

  • catfurr
    catfurr Member Posts: 39
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    I’d be totally ok with fat! I was told several years ago that I had a fatty liver, but it wasn’t mentioned on the random mri last week. Or maybeI’ve enjoyed too many glasses of wine🤦♀️

  • catfurr
    catfurr Member Posts: 39
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    Beesie—thanks for the laugh! Definitely needed and appreciated

  • sunshine99
    sunshine99 Member Posts: 2,627
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    Beesie, those are good! Maybe they should be added to the acronyms we use here!

    Thanks for the laugh! :)


  • alicebastable
    alicebastable Member Posts: 1,944
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    On my last CT, a splenule was mentioned. I'd never heard of one, but apparently it's pretty common for a spleen to have a mini-me. Our bodies are freaking WEIRD.

  • KBeee
    KBeee Member Posts: 695
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    Hoping it is benign. Keep us posted.

  • catfurr
    catfurr Member Posts: 39
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    Whew! It was a benign hemangioma!! Yay!! Thank you so much for talking me off the ledge! I still hate MRI’s tho!

  • wised
    wised Member Posts: 184
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    Yay! . I'm so glad your results are good! I hate MRI's with a passion...

  • mountainmia
    mountainmia Member Posts: 857
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    Such good news!

  • beesie.is.out-of-office
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    YAY!!! indeed!

    Welcome to the 'I grow benign crud' club. Winking

  • alicebastable
    alicebastable Member Posts: 1,944
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    Cross that off the worry list!

  • jen2957
    jen2957 Member Posts: 75
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    Oh, Catfurr, I am so happy for you! I came across this thread when I was searching for the same info, and it has given me so much hope.

    I have taken your vacant seat on the Crazy Train and am having one of those moments of absolute exhaustion and sadness. Hoping to bounce back soon, but today is not that day! 😬 I just I had a whole body bone scan and CT w/contrast Monday (11/15). The tests were scheduled by my treating hospital, but completed at another hospital because my MO had requested it to be done stat so we could get my treatment plan rolling. I didn't want to take the chance that they may not send the results to my MO quickly, so I waited for the results and requested the disk with images so I could deliver them myself.

    Soooo…here I am with the reports, reading and analyzing them adnauseam, and essentially driving myself insane about a couple of the findings. My MO appointment isn't until December 1, but I will contact him prior to then if he doesn't call me; I just want to give him time to review the reports I sent. In the meantime, I've been trying hard not to obsessively research and worry, but am failing on every level! I finally decided to post just to see if anyone had similar findings, because I find much more comfort in hearing from those who know what kind of hell this “in-between" time is.

    My CT report listed a liver lesion, a lung nodule, and a sclerotic focus in a vertebrae in the FINDINGS section; all of them were listed as “indeterminate." In the IMPRESSION section of the report, it references the lung nodule and vertebral focus, but makes no mention of the liver lesion and says “no obvious visceral metastases in the abdomen or pelvis." The bone scan confirmed that the vertebral focus seen in CT was nothing.

    I am attaching the relevant pages of the report in the hopes that maybe someone else can make sense of it. Sorry-Don't know why the pics appear blurry here- they are clear in my photos on iPad.

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  • mountainmia
    mountainmia Member Posts: 857
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    Your name is on these medical records. You might want to delete your post, amend your photos, and repost.

  • jen2957
    jen2957 Member Posts: 75
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    ugghh- I actually took the time to black out doctor info and missed my name! Thanks

  • lillyishere
    lillyishere Member Posts: 770
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    Jen2957, while you wait for your doctor to get back to you, I want to say that my MO told me most likely there are many findings when we get body scans that are benign. He doesn't want me to get the report before he gets it first since us patients get paniced when we read things that don't sound good to us but are harmless.

  • moth
    moth Member Posts: 3,293
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    Jen2957, it does look to me like they forgot to put the liver findings in the impressions section. It should be listed there & a suggestion re follow up, similar to what the radiologist said about bone. It looks like an omission to me.

    & fwiw, it underscores the importance of us reading our reports because things DO get missed & the ordering physicians often skim the report & go straight to impressions so they might miss it as well....

  • jen2957
    jen2957 Member Posts: 75
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    Lilly- Thanks for reminding of that! My oncologist actually told me the same thing when he scheduled the tests and said he would not assume anything without a biopsy, but that all apparently went straight out the window of my brain when I saw the report! 😂 I don’t mind getting the report early if I’m going to see or speak to the MO soon, but in this case, there is a bit of an extended wait due toThanksgiving and waiting for MammaPrint results.

    Moth- it is odd, right? When I saw it in the findings, I immediately went to the Impression section to see what was written. Nothing. I have read some radiology studies that reference skipping putting certain things in the Impression section if the radiologist suspects it is benign; however, I personally don’t think that is good practice. May I ask how your liver Mets appeared on scans? If you would rather not disclose that info, that is absolutely understandable!

  • moth
    moth Member Posts: 3,293
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    Jen, I think mine said something like multiple lesions suspicious for malignancy. I have a whole bunch of mets in the liver -like buckshot.

  • SuQu31
    SuQu31 Member Posts: 73
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    Just raising my hand for the “MRI sees something, but we don't know what it is" club. The MRI I had after biopsy showed possible invasive cancer, possible spread to lymph nodes and something on my liver. But the way they word those reports…..yikes. So, I went from “ok, this is going to be fine," to “What the.." in a second. My breast surgeon sent me for an ultrasound on my liver- benign cyst. Best news ever, but it seemed to take forever to get the news. The rest of what the MRI saw turned out to be just leftover inflammation from the awful biopsy hematoma.

    My brother is a physician, and I had not told him anything about the cancer or testing yet,but called him on the way to the ultrasound. He told me not to worry prematurely- he said cysts are common enough that he would be surprised if I did not have one.


  • jen2957
    jen2957 Member Posts: 75
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    Thanks, Moth. I always value your input on these boards and I appreciate the info.

    SuQu31- ughhh…the cancer whiplash is real! One minute I’m moving along just fine, and the next I am spiraling into the dark. Thanks for sharing your experience. It’s been a strange ride so far- my US and breast MRI both showed small tumor size and no lymph node involvement, then my surgery came back with 55mm IDC/DCIS and one positive node. From that, we went to a plan of ovary removal a d hormone therapy bc I have a history of stroke, am grade 1, and >95% ER/PR+…to now showing a 4mm indeterminate lung nodule and 28mm indeterminate liver lesion on my contrasted CT.

    This weekend, my breast surgeon called and said tumor board discussed my case and they want me to go back for a quick surgery to remove the one positive margin left from surgery. Another bummer- thought certainly not important in the grand scheme of things- bc my breast is finally looking very normal and almost healed from mastectomy and TE placement. I guess I will have surgery for my 51st birthday in a couple of weeks. Grrr

  • ML1209
    ML1209 Member Posts: 153
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    I read your post. I was told I had a fatty liver when I was diagnosed in 2016 with breast cancer. My liver enzymes were elevated all thru chemo and remained elevated now that I am on year 4 of the AI they are going higher. My GI dr feels it is the chemo and AI and once I am off of everything, my body will heal. But, my PCP is concerned. I have pain in my right side and sometimes right shoulder as well. It will bother me for a week or so and then it goes away. I am seeing a new GI in January as my PCP is concerned. I have had this pain all thru chemo as well so they did an ultrasound and CT of my liver and said it is just a fatty liver. It still has me pretty stressed out as everything I read about a fatty liver says it should not cause pain. Of course, it could be from radiation as well. So hard not worry. Do you still have the pain? It gives me some relief reading that yours had a good outcome! It is hard not to worry that they are missing something!

  • seaniebopp
    seaniebopp Member Posts: 4
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    hi Catfurr

    Thank you for your post. I recently had a ct scan to monitor a lesion that was seen on a ct scan in 2016. The lesion was stable but they see “additional lesions measuring 4mm that are too small to characterize”. My oncologist says we will monitor in 6 months. I am so scared! Should I monitor sooner? Does additional mean too many to count? I know you are not a doctor but I will be grateful for any wisdom you could share.

    Seaniebopp

  • jen2957
    jen2957 Member Posts: 75
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    Hi, all! Just thought I would drop by and give a quick update after my last post. I did end up having additional surgery two weeks ago to remove some skin in order to ensure clear margins. I initially had a skin and nipple sparing UMX and the margins came back positive in one area. Good news is that surgery was easy and the pathology came back completely benign and I can mark that off my current worry list.

    I also ended up having a follow-up tri-phase CT of my liver to check out that “indeterminate, 28mm heterogeneous, hypodense lesion" on my initial CT. Results were back within the hour to tell me…well, that they still aren't sur, but they THINK it is an atypical hemangioma. The radiologist recommended an MRI to further look at it, but he didn't realize I had a TE and can't do that. Ughhh…I am so thankful the results weren't a definitive result showing something bad, but I sure was hoping to lay this thing to rest. My onco's nurse practitioner called today and told me they really do lean hard toward hemangioma, but don't want to take any chances, so they will scan just to be sure once my TE is removed. I will add a screenshot of part of the report from the new CT just to see if anything stands out to any of you guys as being particularly positive. One thing of note is that the lesion was assessed as being 21mm on the tri-phase CT. More sensitive test or is it indicative of an uncommon sclerosing hemangioma?

    By the way, I had to drink contrast for this CT, of course, but I was at my treatment hospital this time; whereas for the initial regular CT, I was at a smaller, local hospital for scheduling reasons. The local hospital gave me the icky banana barf I'm used to getting for scans, but my treatment hospital asked, “Do you want fruit punch or lemonade flavored Crystal Light for your contrast drink." I almost jumped up and hugged that nurse- I guess I may just be out of the loop, but I didn't know that was a thing, and boy was it more palatable than that other stuff!!!

    Hope you are all doing well- I'm so behind on catching up with the boards- hopefully, when I catch up, I'll find that everyone is feeling well physically and mentally! Best wishes for a peaceful, spirit-lifting holiday season.

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