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12 year old with HCC
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12 year old with HCC

I have a few questions My nephew who is 12 years old has been diagnosed with HCC he does not have hepatitis. He has tumors on his liver and in his lungs, he is now at St Jude... His AFP numbers were 400,000 when he was diagnosed on June 6th of this year. The docs told my sister there was really no cure for this type of cancer.. But they would go ahead and do the chemo and hope the chemo stops the growth ..the tumor had filled his whole stomach. He has had 2 rounds of chemo and now his AFP numbers are down to 10,000 and the tumor seems to be dieing from the inside. He is in the process of having his third chemo treatment now... my sister is in such a state that she does not ask the difficult questions...So I will... If he does not have hepatitis how in the whole did he get HCC, even St Jude said it was very rare in children... My second question is if there is no cure for this cancer why is the tumor dieing and the AFP numbers falling so fast...should we get our hopes up because of the numbers... Thanks Aunt Lisa
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Avatar_f_tn
Lisa,

I am no where near smart enough to answer your question and so I am writing here to move it to the top where someone who can help may see it.  There are no doctors here, but there are people who know almost everything there is to know about livers and I hope someone can help you with a straight opinion.  Your nephew, your sister, and you have been on my mind since I read this on the bottom of a different post yesterday.  I am keeping you all, especially your brave young nephew in my thoughts.

Carol
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you so much, :)
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179856_tn?1333550962
Dear Lord I am so sorry for his condition and your pain. I can't even fathom this and how hard it must be on all of you.

I assume his tumor is dying from the chemo, that is why his numbers would be dropping I'd guess obviously.

Honestly I don't know 'how' he got HCC but I'd imagine although it's usually associated with HCV it's not always the case.  Farrah Fawcett did succumb to this and not her original anal cancer, as far as I know she didn't have HepC it was metastic cancer.

St. Judes is a marvelous place. Until my situation changed for the worse, I used to donate $20 a month. I'm glad now that I did, it wasn't very much money but boy as I sit here with tears in my eyes I really am grateful that there is such a wonderful hospital in the world.

We wil keep you all in our hopes and prayers.
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179856_tn?1333550962
Hey here is a pretty good link, it's from the UK but the information might be handy for you.

http://www.macmillan.org.uk/Cancerinformation/Cancertypes/Childrenscancers/Typesofchildrenscancers/Livertumours.aspx
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Avatar_f_tn
I've very sorry to hear this , your sister has your
nephew in the perfect place for children with cancer.  

I 'm so sorry.

HUgs
elaine
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you all he is doing better than he was atleast the tumor is dieing....
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Avatar_f_tn
I am so sad to read of your situation and I will keep your nephew and you in my thoughts.  Anything that kills the tumor buys him some time and they are making huge strides in the battle against cancer.  I wish you both good things.
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419309_tn?1326506891
My heart goes out to you and your sister.  St. Jude is a place of many miracles:  don’t lose hope.  It’s encouraging that your nephew’s AFP is declining rapidly along with tumor death.  My prayer is that he will triumph over his cancer.

My husband has HCC as a result of hepatitis c, and though hep c and hep b are the most common causes of HCC, there are other conditions that can also give rise to HCC as well:  alpha-1 anti-trypsin deficiency, Wilson’s disease, and hemochromatosis are just a few.  

The reason doctors say there is no “cure” for HCC is because the current treatments are not always successful.  HCC is a very tenacious cancer and once it occurs, it is often difficult to eradicate.  The best chances at curing HCC are liver transplantation or liver surgery (called resection), but even when HCC is removed completely, it often returns.  Other current treatments (chemo, ablation, etc.) can kill or shrink HCC, but success varies from person to person – so HCC is considered a condition with “no known cure” -- the current treatments don't always work.  

I hope that helps with some of your questions and that the chemo will work for your nephew.  My very best wishes to you and your family at this difficult time.  Stay strong. ~eureka
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