Liver Cancer: Two months to live yet still fine after one and a half years!

PC, 63-year-old female, had coughs for about three weeks. Then she developed fevers. She went to a hospital but the doctor could not find any wrong with her. She was sent home with a supply of Panadol (paracetamol). Not satisfied, PC went to a private hospital in Ipoh. A chest X-ray showed left pleural effusion (i.e. fluid in her left lung). The fluid was tapped out. An ultrasonography on 23 September 2009 showed a 2.6 cm lesion (suggestive of hepatoma or liver cancer) in the right lobe. In addition, there was underlying liver cirrhosis with portal hypertension and ascites. The spleen is enlarged. Biopsy of the lesion was not advisable in view of ascites, low platelet and the tumour site too deep and adjacent to the portal vein.

PC was asked to go home. There would be no treatment for her. She was also told that she had only two months to live.  Four days later, 27 September 2009, PC came to CA Care for help. She presented with the following:

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Poor appetite
  • Tiredness
  • A bit of difficulty in breathing
  • Feeling of “muscle pull” in the chest once a while

PC came to see us after being told by one of our patients who had been doing well with our herbs.

We prescribed PC with Capsule A and B, Lung 1 and Lung 2 teas, Liver 1 and Liver 2 teas.  We reminded her that after taking the herbs for a few days, she might feel tired, have diarrhea, etc. This is a healing crisis and there is nothing to worry about – continue taking the herbs.

These are natural herbs with no additives. They have to be brewed. The taste and smell of the concoction are not going to be pleasant. PC replied: “If I want to get well, I have to drink them!”

Two months on the herbs, PC came back and told us that both her sleep and appetite had improved. Similarly her breathing had also improved. There was no more feeling of “muscle pull” in her chest. One year and four months later, on 14 January 2011, PC was still well. Below is the video recording of her visit that day.

Liver Cancer Part 2: One and Half Years and Still Alive

Blood test results done over the past one and half years

19 Oct. 2009 20 July 2010 24 Nov. 2010
ESR 70   H 39    H n/a
RBC 4.1 4.1 4.0
Haemoglobin 13.2 12.8 14.0
Platelet 580  L 67.0 46.0
WBC 4.5 4.0 4.4
Total bilirubin 36    H 39.1 42.0
Alkaline phosphatase 165  H 137  H 193  H
AST 49    H 51    H 44    H
ALT 22 55    H 36
GGT 452  H 357 H 359  H
Alpha-fetoprotein 14.7 n/a n/a
CEA 0.9 n/a n/a
CA 125 19.3 n/a n/a

Comments

After one and half years, PC was doing fine. Her blood test results did not show deterioration of her condition although some numbers are not good. Platelet count is low and we advised PC to take papaya leaf tea for a month or two. After that, go for another blood test. Hopefully her platelets will increase. PC is not keen to drink this tea because of its bitter taste!

Like most patients, PC is more interested to see if she can reduce the daily intake of her herbal teas! As much as we understand that it is really “difficult, bothering or even sickening” having to drink the awful tasting herbal concoctions, we told PC that she has no choice but to continue doing what she is doing. No change!

We have to remind PC of what happened when she went to see her doctors in September 2009. She was told that there would be no treatment for her. Just go home. She has only two months to live. Now PC has survived one and a half years without any problem. She is able to sleep well, her appetite is good and there is no pain. Life has been good all the while. What more can she ask for?  We reminded PC that she must learn to be grateful and thankful for what she is now. Taking “bitter” herbs is a small price to pay for being alive – and good life too!

Our message to PC and to all patients: Be well behaved if you want to live longer! And there is no point being alive if you think that drinking herbal teas is an intolerable chore. And above all, learn to be thankful and grateful for what you have and what you are.

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8 thoughts on “Liver Cancer: Two months to live yet still fine after one and a half years!

  1. Pingback: Liver Cancer: Benefit and Side Effects of Nexavar | CANCER STORY

  2. Hi CA Care / Dr. Teo,

    Should PC now go for the ultrasonography to compare results before and after the one and half years? If no more lesion or reduction in size, that would tell a lot about the alternative treatment

    Regards
    Pete (your subscriber)

    • If you are doing an experiment … yes! But if you have deep concern for your patient … no need. So what if it is smaller or bigger. What do you expect to achieve by knowing if it is bigger or smaller? What matters most is she is alive – living a healthy good life.

  3. Dear Dr Teo,

    My father has been battling liver cancer for almost 2 years (relapse from colon after 4 years of recovery)

    He has been through 2 rounds of chemo, and apparently doesnt help much, at best maintaining cancer marker at around 30+

    He has just performed colostomy due to bloated stomach, and am now on chinese medication. I am seeking alternative advise on this. He still feels pain on the liver area, and constantly on painkiller to sleep. Could you advise (via email i have provided ontop)

    • It is not right for me to give advice without seeing the medical reports and talk to the patient. You need to come and see me. Not ethical to just advise by sitting in front of the computer.

      • Dr Teo,

        I don’t think my dad is strong enough to endure a long car ride journey. I would find time to pay you a visit with all his medical reports. and if he can’t make the trip, we could converse over the phone with him.

        Thanks Dr Teo.

  4. My father was diagnosed with Liver Cancer stage 3 stage 4 on April 9, 2011.At that time the doctor claimed there were 3 tumors and a possible 4. Before the TACE procedure the doctors said they only found 2 tumors. He started taking Nexavar about 3 days ago. No signs of the side effects just yet. Any advice?

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