"When patients know more, everyone benefits." - NexCura
The American Cancer Society has an interesting treatment profiler tool available for a number of cancers. In my case, the profiler I'm interested in is the colorectal cancer type: recurrent.
Liver resection is clearly the standard for the best prognosis for 5-year survival rates - 25-40%. But there are many conditions required to be considered a candidate for liver resection treatment:
- no evidence of metastatic disease other than the liver
- the primary tumor site must be completely controlled
- no major structures in the liver may be involved (hepatic artery, major bile ducts, and the portal vein) or even close to the lesions
- there must be enough healthy liver remaining to function normally
- the patient must be able to tolerate the surgical stress
So, clearly, I have a lot of questions to ask the oncologist next week about my eligibility for liver resection. But apart from that option, there are other treatment possibilities, including:
- hepatic arterial infusion (HAI) chemotherapy: drugs delivered directly into the liver, usually through a catheter and a surgically implanted pump
- radiofrequency ablation: using heat to destroy tumors, usually under general anesthesia during day surgery
- microwave coagulation: ultra high-speed microwaves delivered through a probe in cutting and cauterizing the tumor
- novel radiation techniques and delivery systems: such as Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT), Image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT), Extracranial Stereotactic Radiosurgery, and Selective Internal Radiation Therapy (SIRT)
- clinical trials
In other words, it gets very complicated very quickly.
While I appreciate the information Nexcura provides through the American Cancer Society's web site in its Treatment Options Report, this is only a first step. It's about gathering some useful information to be prepared when the oncologists start talking about options...at least I hope they talk about options!