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Stage IV liver cancer How long?
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Stage IV liver cancer How long?

Two weeks ago, CT scan indicated my mom (mid-80's) has 5cm lesion on liver, w/ 60 lesions on lungs. Per her advanced directives, biopsies to confirm metastatic disease weren't done.To date she's had no pain, but last week, her abdomen was distended (she'd gained 11 lbs in a week) and experienced difficulty breathing.  After a trip to the ER, she was transferred to a hospice facility. This week, she's had several episodes of projectile vomiting at mealtimes. Meds now have the vomiting under control.

Mom has mild dementia, my sister, who is her primary caretaker, has major cardiac issues & I live hundreds of miles away.  I've tried to educate myself on what to expect as her disease progresses, but neither her internist nor the hospice docs will discuss a timeline. I understand that every patient is different, but having some idea of whether it's days, weeks or months until the end would be of tremendous help in determining whether we can manage her care at home or should consider a nursing home. Is it unreasonable to consider labs for liver function? Would they be helpful?  Many thanks.
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1711789_tn?1361311607
Hi there!

With lesions in the lung as well as the liver, the primary is likely to be the lung with secondaries liver (Liver secondaries to the lung are not as common). However since the liver lesion is single there are good chances that both the lung and the liver cancers are primaries, and could respond to oncological management (atleast the liver lesion). However since further testing has not been done to confirm the etiology, the management is likely to be symptomatic alone and neither can the lesions be staged nor a prognosis formed. Hence the prognosis becomes highly variable ranging from weeks to years. Still depending on the radiological features one can have a fair idea to the etiology and it may be a good idea to discuss the situation with her treating oncologist.
Hope this is helpful.

Take care!
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