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Breast cancer spread to liver??
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Breast cancer spread to liver??

Does breast cancer spread to liver?  I had stage 3 cancer, with 14 0f 15 positive.  This was three years ago.  Since, no cancer has been found (I did have an enlarged pancreas that showed up in 5 CT scans as being unchanged, then the next one showed normal size)  Looks as if I have a liver scare this time.

The CT scan report reads as follows:
(WITHOUT CONTRAST)
Attenuation of liver is diffuse decreased.  Left lobe of liver is enlarged.  In right lobe of liver focal hyperdense lesion is seen measuring 0.7 cm.
(WITH CONTRAST))
Liver shows decreased attenuation, most likely fatty infilltration.  Hyperdense  lesion that was seen on non-contrasted images is again noted.

IMPRESSION: Enlarged left lobe is liver with fatty infiltration of the rest of liver is seen. In right lobe focal hyperdense area is seen.   EVALUATION with MRI is recommended to exclude
mass.
ONCOLOGIST is going to wait until Oct. and than order CT scan again before I see him.       What do you think?
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Avatar_n_tn
Dear seven7:  CT scans are interpreted by the radiologist according to his/her level of suspicion.  A scan alone is rarely the exclusive diagnostic tool when evaluating a new finding.  Results are correlated clinically and sometimes with additional imaging (such as the MRI being suggested by the radiologist).  Sometimes, if the lesion is small, a doctor may recommend additional scanning after a short (2-3 month) time interval.  If the lesion grows, the suspicion is increased.  If it is stable, the suspicion may be decreased and regular interval scanning will be done to follow the lesion over time.  In some cases, depending on the suspicion of the physician, a biopsy may be necessary.  In other words, there are several ways of approaching the situation that, without reviewing the scans ourselves, we cannot speculate on how we might proceed.  Although a variety of approaches may be acceptable, it is important that you are comfortable with the recommendation.  You might consider a discussion with your oncologist to review the situation.  If you remain uncomfortable, you can seek a second opinion from another oncologist - taking the scans for review.  

Technically, breast cancer can spread to any part of the body.  The liver is not an uncommon destination, but not all liver lesions represent cancer.
5 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
I forgot to mention that I had a mastectomy in 2002 and 8 chemes and 33 radiations and am on Tamoxifen.   Seven
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Avatar_n_tn
It can spread to the liver. When it does, there are usually several spots. A single spot which is very tiny (yours is about a quarter of an inch) is very hard to interpret, and, because of its small size, would likely be hard to biopsy; and it would be unusual for breast cancer in the liver to present with a single tiny spot. So waiting and repeating the study is a reasonable option. Others include getting the MRI to see if it can make clearer what the spot is, or getting the repeat CT a little sooner. It's always best, when you have uncertainty about the choices, to have a candid talk with your oncologist and express your concerns and get explanations for the choices made.
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Avatar_n_tn
My mother was just diagnosed with liver cancer which has metastasized from the breast.  She has 3 large masses and two small ones.  Is surgery to remove the large masses ever an option?  Then use chemo to shrink the smaller ones?  

Also, when a 6 to 12 month time frame is given is that if no treatment is performed or with treatment?

Any help appreciated.  

Very scared daughter
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello,  You will not get a medical answer here.  You must click "Post" and write a letter to the Cleveland Clinic.  Your reply to my question will probably not be seen by the clinic.

Please write a letter.  I would like to hear their answer.
As for me,  My oncologist thinks it has not spread to the liver, but he is going to order another CAT scan in October, and keep a check on it.
Gee, I hope your doctor did not mean she had only 6 months after treatment!  I think he must have meant without treatment.  

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