Where are you located?
Hi Hectorsf, thanks for your prompt reply. I'm in Manila.
Hello I am so sorry to hear of your Mom's problems. I have heard that Milk Thistle can be good and also a multi vitamin without iron.
I myself take calcium, magnesium, Vit D and Zinc as I have leg cramps and they seem to help.
Also if she could drink more water that would help with aching, dehydration can be very painful
I wish you the best
Most of us here are in North America however we do have members from other parts of the world.
I know of a good liver hospital in Taiwan but nothing in the Philippines.
My heart goes out to you and your family, Sidni... I understand what you are going through as my husband who is 61 years young has Stage 4 liver cancer as well. He did try the chemo that is very painful and makes people blister (called Nexavar) back in September, but it did not work for him. He is now in end-stage, and as much as I would so very much like to say otherwise, there is no currently effective known cure for this condition... I'm very sorry for what your mother and family are going through.
The best you can do for your mother is to love and support her, and make the most of the time you have together every day. As the cancer progresses, she will continue to lose her appetite and eat less and less -- try not fight to make her eat, as it is a natural body response; just do your best to offer her what you know she likes, but do not be angry if she does not want to eat. Encourage her to drink lots of fluid and do your best to help her to keep her salt intake low.
As time goes on you will find your mother will be more and more fatigued and her body will get thinner and weaker even more so. She may experience complications of abdominal swelling and bloating. She may have mental confusion and will sleep a great deal... many people at end-stage HCC do not suffer any pain, but the toxins in their body makes them sleep a great deal or not think properly. If her cancer spreads to her lungs she may have difficulty breathing, or if to her bones she may need painkillers, but for many patients it is just more and more quiet and sleep as the cancer takes over. Liver cancer can be very aggressive ... my husband was still working some days back in November, but now his condition is very poor... the doctors think he might not have very much time.
My advice to you is to take the money and time you would invest into herbals and treatments and instead, spend it wisely with your mother, as her time may be short. Do your best to enjoy the moments you have now and don't focus on what is happening to her body, focus on what you still have of her soul, spirit, and mind, and rejoice and cherish it.
I hope I did not make things more difficult for you -- we all look for a miracle cure, but sometimes the miracle you have is knowing the time you've been given in the present is the gift. All my best to your mother, you, and your family. ~eureka
I should add that if your mother does experience complications from the liver cancer that cause her pain or discomfort as the disease progresses, most symptoms can be managed as they occur to make her more comfortable... if you need more specific information, don't hesitate to ask.
Sorry it took me so long to get back to you...
Let me say this first to put my opinion is context. Although I have the same liver disease (End-Stage Liver Disease and liver cancer also know as hepatocellular carcinoma) as your mother, I am not a medical professional and have not gone through what your mother is going through now. Although I have liver cancer I am still in relatively good health thanks to some of the best doctors and medical services available anywhere in the world here in San Francisco. I am still hoping to get a liver transplant in about a year to save my life. Though I have dealt with many issues around my own issues about having a fatal disease and death, I am not qualified in any way to offer advice to anyone else on this subject. Fatal illness is something the only very experienced hospital and hospice care medical personal are qualified to deal with. Each of us has our own thoughts and feeling about this subject and different cultures have different views on death and dying.
Liver cancer is the third most common cancer in the world and one of the most deadly cancers. Unfortunately there is no cure for liver cancer for anyone with stage 4 liver disease, except a liver transplant. But not everyone, even here in the US or Europe or Japan, can qualify for a transplant. Yes, this is very difficult situation and I am very sorry to have to tell you this.
So if I have nothing else to offer I highly recommend THE MEDICAL CITY (see their phone and email info below) and get their expert opinion of your mother’s entire health situation so she will have the best options available to her. If it was my mother this is what I would do. I wish I had a better answer for you...
As for your question regarding herbal treatment and vitamins. There are NO herbal treatments or vitamins that will be helpful for your mother’s condition now. NONE. No herbal treatments or vitamins can cure liver cancer. If they could I would be taking them myself. In fact some herbal treatments or vitamins could cause her disease to progress more quickly and even some could lead to liver failure and death. Here is the US all medicines, food, vitamins and herbal treatments must be approved by the patient's liver doctor first. This is no small matter. More harm than good can be done as only medicine to manage her symptoms and complications can moderate her condition! PLEASE CONSULT WITH HER DOCTOR BEFORE SHE TAKES ANY NEW SUBSTANCE!!! She is already having difficulty eating due to her illness and possibly medicine side effects, so please be extremely careful.
What medicine are “they” prescribing that she is having problems with side effects (skin blisters and pain all over her body)? Nexavar/Sorafenib?
What type of doctor is she seeing now? Primary care physician, gastroenterologist. hepatologist?
The best place for your mother to go in the Philippines is the
THE MEDICAL CITY
Ortigas Avenue, Pasig City, Metro Manila Philippines.
Tel. nos. (632) 988-1000, (632) 988-7000
Email us : ***@****
"Center for Liver Disease Management and Transplantation (CLDMT)
2nd Floor, Podium Bldg., The Medical City
Telephone No: 635-6789 ext. 6506/6507
Monday – Friday 8:00am – 5:00pm
Here is a link to the Center for Liver Disease Management and Transplantation web page.
‘The Center will cater specifically to advanced or complicated liver disease, especially advanced chronic liver disease that will lead to liver failure and/or develop complications related to portal hypertension, e.g. variceal bleeding (vomiting blood), ascites (bloated abdomen), hepatic encephalopathy (mental effects of liver disease), hepatorenal syndrome (kidney problems caused by liver disease, etc, requiring liver transplantation as the ultimate cure.
Selected patients with hepatocellular carcinoma may also maximally benefit from liver transplantation.
Tumors both benign and malignant particularly those that will require a multidisciplinary management approach, given the wide array of therapeutic options now available, may also be seen at the Center. Nonetheless the Center welcomes all forms of liver disease that may require its expert care.'
The list of target diseases is as follows:
* Malignant Liver Tumors (e.g., Hepatocellular Carcinoma, Metastatic Carcinoma)’
I am not sure what charity services are available in the Philippines but if you could at least schedule a consultation with someone at The Medical City “Center for Liver Disease” they could best advise you and your mother on what options are available for her on any financial assistance that may be available.
Let me know what happens after you talk to the ‘Center for Liver Disease’ people.
If you have and particular medical question feel free to ask and I can provide you with information about what is causing them and any treatment that may be available to help to treat the symptoms or complications.
Here is a web site if you are interested in learning more about liver cancer.
Good luck to you and your mother.
Please let us know what happens at the Liver Center.
Let me know if I can help be of any help.
Please take Eureka advice to heart. She is the MOST knowledgeable person on this forum regarding liver cancer, the disease and more importantly for you, caring for a loved one with the disease. This is especially important for you, as a caregiver for your mother. Care-giving require a unique set of skills that even most doctor can't provide. Both she and her husband are remarkable people and have been through more than any of us can even comprehend. So she is THE EXPERT on this forum regarding helping a loved one with liver cancer.
My experience is only as a patient living with liver cancer. I am good at providing data, but there is a whole lot more than 'the facts' to dealing with liver cancer. Although I have tried to learn everything I can about my condition from my team doctors and through personal research, Eureka has taught me many things about liver cancer that I did not know. I have been only been living with the diagnosis of liver cancer for about 6 months now. They have been living with it for many years. So please listen to her advice. It is something she and her husband have been dealing with every day for a very long time. I can only hope that if I end up in the same situation as they are, that I will manage it half as well as she and her brave husband do every single day.
Looking back at your first post you said 'my mother has grade 2 stage 4 liver cancer.'
Do you mean she has Grade 2 inflammation, Stage 4 liver cirrhosis on the Metavir scoring system PLUS liver cancer?
Or that she has Stage IV liver cancer?
In stage IV, the cancer has spread beyond the liver to other places in the body, such as the bones or lungs. The tumors may be of any size and may also have spread to nearby blood vessels and/or lymph nodes.
I just wanted to clarify the facts as there is a big different between the two interpretations.
Thank you very much.