Liver Cirrhosis (& problems with the pancreas?): Two Years On, Still Doing Fine

SS (s-406) is a 61-year-old Indonesian. Sometime in 2011, he had to be hospitalized. Something was wrong. Fluid accumulated in his abdomen and this had to be tapped out.  In 2012, he landed in the hospital again, twice. In February 2013, he again had to go into the hospital to have fluid tapped out of his abdomen.

In July 2013, SS came to seek our help. Since then, he need not go to the hospital anymore!

What was wrong with SS?

An utrasound on 16 May 2013 showed a 8.9 x 6.6 cm mass in his pancreas.  And he had fatty liver.

A follow-up CT scan the next day showed liver cirrhosis with:

  • ascites (accumulation of fluid –usually serous fluid which is a pale yellow and clear fluid — in the abdominal (peritoneal) cavity. Ascitic fluid can have many sources such asliver disease, cancers, congestive heart failure, or kidney failure).
  • cholecystitis (inflammation of the gallbladder).
  • cholangitis (infection of the biliary tract with the potential to cause significant morbidity and mortality), and
  • pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas).

Composite

 

The report said: tidak terlihat nodul /massa atau lesi fokal (no nodule or mass seen).

So, how can we make out of this case with two conflicting imaging reports?

SS was prescribed herbs for his liver and pancreas and was told to keep to a healthy diet.

Listen to the video clips below.

 

 

April 2014: Almost a year on CA Care Therapy, SS said he was far better off than before!

September 2015: According to his niece, SS is doing find fine up to this day. Since on CA Care Therapy he need not have to go back to the hospital anymore. SS had just came back from a holiday in Bali. Chris: Thank God for this!

 

 

 

Liver Cirrhosis: Five years on, still doing fine

CL was told that she was a hepatitis C carrier. That was 10 years ago, when she was 50 years old. She did nothing about it – perhaps nothing meaningful could be done anyway? On 31 March 2009, CL did a blood test. Her liver function deteriorated badly.

Alkaline phosphatase 355 H
Total bilirubin 22 H
GGT 139 H
AST 118 H
ALT 90 H
Alpha-fetoprotein 39 H

 

CT abdomen on 15 April 2009 indicated: Liver cirrhosis with portal hypertension. Small haemangioma, right lobe of liver.

The doctor asked CL to have interferon injections – a total of about 50 injections, costing about RM40,000 plus. According to the doctor, CL had a 50:50 chance (what does that mean?). CL promptly declined further medical treatment.

CL then went to seek the help of Dr. Ishak (deceased, medical doctor practising alternative medicine). CL received ozone treatment, coffee edema, etc. After 3 days, CL was told to come and see us for further management.

CL came to CA Care on 8 May 2009 and was prescribed Capsule A + B,  Liver 1 & 2 teas and LL-Tea.

September 2009: Four months on the herbs, CL was more comfortable, more energetic, slept better.

November 2009: Blood test showed improved liver function (see table below).

December 2014: Five years and 7 months later:  CL’s son came to seek our help. This time not for CL but for his father (CL’s husband) who had colon-liver cancer.  The first thing  we did was to enquire about CL’s health.

Chris: More than 5 years now. Is your mother okay?

Son: Yes, she is okay. Doing very well.

C: Did she go and see the doctor for her liver problems?

Daughter-in-law: No, no, no.

Listern to this video …

 

 

Compare the blood test results over the years

  Alkaline phosphatase Total bilirubin GGT AST ALT Alpha-fetoprotein
31 Mar 2009 355 22 139 118 90 39
Started on herbs on 8 May 2009
10 Nov 2009 144 20 105 101 84 30
18 May 2010 140 17 76 99 71 24
21 Feb 2011 159 26 60 124 69 28.8
26 Mar 2012 142 22 43 64 28 n/a

 

Comments

  1. Some people want others to believe that taking herbs is not “scientifically proven” stuff that can lead to liver or kidney damage. When CL came to seek our help her liver was already “real bad.” And if taking herbs would cause liver damage, then CL would not have survived 5 years. Her liver would have gone “kaputt” by now – considering that herbs would further add to the damage! But instead CL’s liver was getting better.
  2. The doctor suggested 50 injections that would cost her some RM40,000.
  3. There was an Indonesian patient with hepatitis B who came to seek our help. She had received interferon injections. After some months the doctor gave up and told her to stop it, otherwise she was told she would die from the treatment! This patient took our herbs and became better. Click this link to hear her story: https://cancercaremalaysia.com/2011/08/23/hepatitis-c-medical-treatment-or-herbs-%E2%80%93-your-have-a-choice/
  4. Let’s look at the “opportunity cost.” What can happen if CL were to take the injection? Can her liver condition deteriorate like the Indonesian lady mentioned above? Money lost and liver kaputt?
  5. The question to ask – would the RM 40,000-treatment cure CL? The doctor said, she had a 50:50 chance! Honestly, I don’t understand what the means! Chance of curing or chance of getting worse?
  6. If CL was to ask me then, what her chances would be if she were to follow our therapy, I would have said: “I don’t know! We shall try our best to help you.” I would rather be sincerely honest with her. At CA Care we don’t want to mislead patients by using unsubstantiated, glowing statistics. In other words, we are NOT here trying to push our herbs!

 

Liver Cirrhosis & Periampullary Cancer: She Lived 2 years 3 months While on Herbs

The last time I talked to KL (H-596) was on 9 June 2013. She was doing fine. She had just gone to see her doctor on 3 June 2013 and her ultrasound result did not show anything amiss. Her health had not deteriorated either.

Video recorded on 9 June 2013

Ultrasound of Abdomen

25 April 2011 – first visit

3 June 2013 – last visit

 

1. Liver cirrhosis with portal hypretension

2. Cholelithiasis

3. Dilated CBD, due to distal CBD stones.

 

 

1. Liver cirrhosis

2. Dilated CBD and distended gallbladder due to periampullary tumour at the head of pancreas.

The results of her Liver Function Test showed improvements over a  period of time after KL was started on our therapy (see Table below).

Parameter

29 Apr 2011

6 May 2011

1 September 2012

3 June 2013

Total bilirubin

143.6

111.4

71.0

41.2

Direct bilirubin

105.1

83.9

36.3

25.0

Alanine transaminase

132

102

60

55

Alkaline phosphatase

171

177

143

192

GGT

147

127

321

217

AST

197

161

96

80

CA 19.9

nil

nil

33.7

21.8

When KL first came to seek our help she was severely jaundiced (yellowing) but over time her biliburin dropped to 41 from 143. Her CA 19.9 had also improved. When she last came on 9 June 2013, KL was her normal self. The only concern we had at that time was she still had jaundice — even though her bilirubin level had decreased substantially.

Another concern was whether the stent which was installed earlier had to be changed. It appeared at that point in time nothing was amiss. I suggested to her family that in the event that there was a blockage, KL had to be brought to the hospital immediately.

It was with sadness to learn that on 14 July 2013, her family members woke up in the morning to find her in a pool of blood. A blood vessel must have ruptured. KL was immediately sent to the hospital but the doctors could not do much. A day later, KL passed away.

KL managed to live a pain-free life for 2 years and 3 months while on our therapy.

Medical History

KL ‘s problems surfaced  in April 2011 when she became jaundiced. She went to the hospital and was diagnosed with liver cirrhosis with moderate ascites. Her CBD (common bile duct – see diagram below) was dilated probably due to a lesion. Further investigation revealed presence of multiple stones in the gallbladder and distal CBD.

A biopsy of the Papilla of Vater was performed and indicated villous adenoma with high grade dysplasia, highly suggestive of underlying periampullary tumour at the head of the pancreas.

Subsequently ERCP (endoscopic retrograde of cholangiopancreatography) was done and a by-pass stent was installed. KL was told that surgery to remove the tumour could not be done at this (Penang) hospital. If she wanted to undergo an operation, she could go to a university hospital in Kuala Lumpur.

KL refused  surgery and came to seek our help on 29 April 2011.

What You Should Know About Liver Cirrhosis

  • Cirrhosis is scarring of the liver as a result of continuous, long-term liver damage. Scar tissue replaces healthy tissue in the liver and prevents the liver from working properly.
  • The damage caused by cirrhosis is permanent and can’t be reversed. Cirrhosis cannot be cured.
  • Cirrhosis progresses slowly, over many years, gradually causing your liver to stop functioning.  http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/cirrhosis/Pages/Introduction.aspx 
  • After heart disease and cancer, cirrhosis is the third most common cause of death in people aged 45-65 years.

http://www.natap.org/2002/Oct/103002_2.htm

  • Liver cirrhosis is usually far advanced before it is diagnosed.
  • Medicines do not help regenerate new liver cells.
  • Causes of liver cirrhosis: alcoholism, chronic hepatitis B/C.
  • Certain other diseases like nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and certain medications can cause liver cirrhosis. Autoimmune inflammation of the liver, abnormal levels of iron and copper leading to metabolic disorders, and disorders of the biliary system can lead to liver cirrhosis.
  • Cirrhosis prognosis is poor.
  •  Life expectancy of patients diagnosed with cirrhosis in the second stage, will be about 6 to 10 years. When cirrhosis of the liver is diagnosed during the last stage, the life expectancy is about 1-3 years.
  • Lifestyle changes are the cornerstone of the treatment for the disease.

http://www.buzzle.com/articles/cirrhosis-prognosis.html

People with liver cirrhosis may develop complications:

  • When the liver is heavily scarred, the blood cannot get through the liver at the normal pace due to obstruction presented by the scar tissue, thus creating a higher than normal pressure in the portal vein – the main vein feeding the liver (portal hypertension).
  • The portal hypertension often causes ascites (accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity).
  • The portal hypertension may lead to the formation of varices. Varices have thin walls and they may rupture and bleed. The two main locations where bleeding is likely to occur are the lower oesophagus /upper stomach and the perianal region. Oesophageal varices are likely to bleed most heavily, and is often difficult to control.
  • Cirrhosis sometimes may lead to jaundice (yellowing of the whites of the eyes and/or the skin) due to the accumulation of bilirubin in the blood. If the bilirubin is excreted in the urine, the urine may turn dark.
  • Cirrhosis may also lead to hepatic encephalopathy, which manifests as fatigue or confusion.
  • People with cirrhosis often bruise easily. The level of platelets in the blood may be lower than normal if the spleen is enlarged.

http://www.hepatitis.org.uk/s-crina/cirrhosis-main-f3.htm 

Treatment for Liver Cirrhosis

Although there is no cure for cirrhosis of the liver, there are treatments available that can stop or delay its progress, minimize the damage to liver cells, and reduce complications.The treatment used depends on the cause of cirrhosis of the liver.

  • For cirrhosis caused by alcohol abuse, the person must stop drinking alcohol to halt the progression of cirrhosis.
  • If a person has hepatitis, the doctor may prescribe steroids or antiviral drugs to reduce liver cell injury.
  • For people with cirrhosis caused by autoimmune diseases, Wilson’s disease, or hemochromatosis, the treatment varies.
  • Medications may be given to control the symptoms of cirrhosis. Edema (fluid retention) and ascites (fluid in the abdomen) are treated, in part, by reducing salt in the diet. Diet and drug therapies can help improve the altered mental function that cirrhosis can cause. Laxatives such as lactulose may be given to help absorb toxins and speed their removal from the intestines.

http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/cirrhosis-liver

What You Should Know About Periampullary Cancer

The Ampulla Vater is a nipple like projection into the duodenum (the first portion of the intestine) into which the pancreatic and bile ducts open. All of the pancreatic and biliary secretion enter the duodenum through the Ampulla Vater.

Liver-andAppulla-of-Vater

Blockage of the Ampulla Vater by the tumor leads to obstruction of drainage of the pancreatic and biliary secretions into the intestine. Blockage of drainage of bile into the duodenum leads to the development of jaundice.

Carcinoma of the ampulla of Vater is a rare malignancy.

For patients with unresectable disease, endoscopic stenting to achieve biliary decompression is an appropriate palliative procedure.

  • Surgical resection with curative intent is the only option for long-term survival.
  • Pancreaticoduodenectomy is the procedure of choice for patients with resectable disease.
  • Unfortunately, most patients with carcinoma of the ampulla of Vater die of recurrent disease. Treatment fails in nearly 70% of patients with poor prognostic features, and these patients ultimately die of their disease.
  • Distant metastasis to the liver, peritoneum, and pleura was the dominant failure pattern after surgery.
  • Radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and chemoradiotherapy have been tried, but response rates probably are low, and an effect on survival is questionable.

Sae Min Kim et al of the College of Medicine, Korea University, Seoul, Korea (in J. Korean Medical Science, 7:295-303, 1992) reviewed 766 cases of surgically treated periampullary cancers in their paper entitled Surgical Treatment of Periampullary Cancer.  They noted the following:

  • 66 percent of patients were in Stage 3
  • 8 percent were in Stage 2
  • 26 percent were in Stage 1
  • Not all cancers can be resected. Resectability rate was 32 percent.
  • Mean post-operative complications was 44 percent.
  • Survival rate at 1, 3, and 5 years in the resected group were 68 percent, 25 percent and 15 percent.
  • In the non-resectable group, survival rate at 1 and 2 years were 7 percent and 0 percent. Non survived 18 months after treatment.

Source:

http://www.uptodate.com/contents/ampullary-carcinoma-treatment-and-prognosis

http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/282920-overview

http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/276413-treatment

Comments

KL had both liver cirrhosis and a rare cancer called periampullary cancers. Even the doctor in a private hospital here was not able to handle the case, preferring to refer her for surgery at a university hospital in Kuala Lumpur. KL refused further medical treatment.

Take time to ponder on the following:

  • What could have happen if KL was to undergo surgery? Would her quality of life be better off or would the procedure make life more miserable?
  • Would surgery extend her life? 

Medical doctors in Korea could give us some idea of what could happen.  To start with not all such cancer can be resected  — even more so with an underlying liver cirrhosis. KL might not be a candidate for surgery at all.

If KL were to undergo surgery, the chances of post-operative complications is very high indeed.  So surgery might not be an attractive option for her case.

KL chose to do nothing — just took herbs and changed her diet. She lived another 2 years and 3 months. According to the Korea study above, even with medical treatment (but without surgery) no one survived after 18 months.

So, KL had her blessing and herbs are not “unproven” or hocus pocus like many “educated” experts may want you to believe.

And above all the family did not have to pay through the nose to keep her well until the last day of her life.

Liver Cirrhosis: Two and a Half Years On Herbs and Still Doing Fine

Ling (H66) was 60-years old when she first came to see us. She is a known Hepatitis C carrier of over a decade. She did nothing about it. And she ate anything she liked.  A blood test done on 12 December 2008 indicated elevated liver enzymes and her alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) was at 75 (Table). A repeat of her liver function test was done on 31 March 2009. The results were just as “bad” (Table).

A CT scan done on 15 April 2009, indicated cirrhosis of the liver with portal hypertension. A 13mm lesion was seen in the right lobe, the appearance was consistent with a haemangioma. A 15 mm cyst was seen in the left lobe of her liver.

The doctor suggested that Ling undergo treatment with (Interferon?) injection. She would need about 50 injections and the total cost would come to about RM 40,000. And the chance of success would be about 50% (whatever this means!).

Ling sought the help of a medical doctor who practised alternative therapies – the late Dr. Ishak from Melaka. Ling underwent some treatments in Dr. Ishak’s clinic. After that she was asked to come to CA Care for further management.

 

 

Ling came to us on 8 May 2009 and presented with abdominal pains and difficulty in sleeping. She was prescribed Capsule A & B, Liver 1 and Liver 2 –teas and LL-Tea.  Since Ling came from another town we only got to see here once in a while over the years.

On 6 December 2011 (two and a half years now), Ling sent someone to collect more her herbs. She is still doing fine.

Table:  Blood test results over the years.

The blood test results in February 2011 showed low platelets count. We told Ling to be careful and she should monitor this. Low platelets can result in non-stop bleeding. If the count is low she should go to the hospital for blood transfusion. Ling can also take juice extracted from the young papaya shoots or she can boil the mature papaya leaf and make it into tea. This may help with her blood counts. Overall her liver function parameters were better after taking the herbs compared to those days before she was on the herbs.  Her AcuGraph readings over the time also showed improvements (below).