Anonymous asked in HealthDiseases & ConditionsCancer · 7 years ago

My aunt has cirrhosis of the liver + cancer in the liver. Life expectancy?

My aunt has cirrhosis of the liver. She was diagnosed 2 years ago but never did anything about it. It is now stage 4 cirrhosis. A couple weeks ago, they found cancer in her liver as well. She is 69 years old. She has high blood pressure and sugar. Doctors say they will try a one time chemotherapy treatment for the cancer. She needs a new liver. Her name is on the list with 150 people ahead of her. Does the liver need to be a match? Will she survive the wait?

6 Answers

  • 7 years ago
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    There is no way to say if she will survive or not or how long she will live. Not even her doctors who know all about her condition and sees the test results and are educated on her condition is able to do that. Stage 4 just means she has at least some cirrhosis. This staging does not detail how much scar tissue (cirrhosis) your aunt has. It could be very little to a lot which makes a huge difference in how fast she would reach total liver failure. There was really nothing your aunt could probably do about 2 years ago since there is no cure and all the doctors can basically do is treat the symptoms of the disease as it progresses. Nothing probably would have changed just because she did nothing in those 2 years. The disease does what it wants to do unless your aunt can slow it down or stop the progression in some way such as an alcoholic can stop drinking and help it. There is no cure for it other than a liver transplant.

    If she is still on the list even though she has cancer, that will place her higher up on the list for her transplant. Yes, your aunt does have to find a matching liver, but a liver is not as hard as some other transplants to find a match. All she needs is someone with a compatible blood type and be similar in body size. They don't want to transplant a huge man's liver into a tiny petite woman since it would just be too big. It's just a wait and see situation as to what happens with her. I waited on a transplant for myself which was an 18 month wait. They base that listing on what is called a MELD (model for end stage liver disease) score which is the results of several blood tests that show how sick the person is and how close to total liver failure they are at the time. It goes up to 40 with 40 being the sickest. That means that even though a person may have been waiting for years on the list with a score of 12, if a person gets accepted and was only on the list for a week and their score was 25, they would get their transplant ahead of the 12 even though the 12 has been waiting for years. I was called for my transplant when my score was 15, but that varies from day to day depending on the transplant center and how many organs they get in versus the people on the list and their scores. It constantly changes.

    I don't know if your aunt's transplant center does it or not, but there is thing called living donor liver transplants in which a living person can donate a portion of their liver to your aunt and she won't have to wait on the list anymore. If anyone in your family would be very healthy and willing to donate, that might be an option to help her and save her life. This would have to be discussed with your aunt and her doctors at the transplant center. I hope your aunt is able to get her transplant very soon. With cancer being there, it's critical she gets help before it spreads anywhere. Once it spreads, they will no longer do a transplant most of the time since it will not help.

    Source(s): I'm a nurse who had cirrhosis and received a liver transplant.
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  • 7 years ago

    After I posted, I saw that Baa Baa had answered your question...

    I'm adding to her post and deleting some of mine that is just

    a repeat of what she stated:

    Cancer that is only in the liver and has not metasized to another area,

    or has come from another area to the liver....means that it is not

    considered aggressive. If the cancer tumor or tumors are small...

    then she was evaluated for placement on the liver transplant long as the doctors feel that she will be able to withstand

    the long hours of surgery and her health is still good.

    If the cancer tumor/tumors are larger, then they can do

    Sir spheres to try to decrease the size of them.

    [SIR-SPHERES: Selective Internal Radiation Therapy:

    A non surgical therapy that uses radioactive microspheres to deliver

    radiation directly to the site of the liver tumors. It gives up to 40 times

    more radiation to the liver tumors than conventional radiotherapy.]

    If the cancer is only in the liver ...they can remove

    the area where the cancer is by a resection, wait till the

    liver develops into a whole liver again through regeneration and

    then remove the other part of the liver and again regenerate.

    However, it also depends on her health and how far advanced

    she is in Cirrhosis of the liver. The doctors would know by

    doing a liver biopsy if this could be possible.

    Two LINKS to click on:

    Living donors go through an evaluation process to see

    if they could become her donor. They should

    be 18 years of age or older with no serious

    medical problems or addictions.

    Here are some links for each topic, that you can click on:



    Living donations:

    Advanced directives:

    Only the doctors can make educated guess how long

    a patient may survive without having the transplant by

    all the tests results they receive.

    I hope this info has been of some help to you.

    Best wishes to you and your aunt.

    I read the post PAL stated after me:

    I wanted to add: Cirrhosis of the liver means that

    the liver has scar tissue due to the liver cells dying off.

    This scar tissue blocks the flow of blood through the

    liver and to the functioning liver cells...there is no

    cure or treatment that could of stopped this.

    Once diagnosed with Cirrhosis, the liver cells do

    continue to die off. Stopping the cause

    (of which could be anything from a hereditary problem

    or 40 or more other causes) would only slow down

    the advancement of this disease and is not a cure for

    it. Therefore, there wasn't much the doctors could

    do except treat the symptoms that might have


    Source(s): caregiver to a liver transplant patient
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  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    This Site Might Help You.


    My aunt has cirrhosis of the liver + cancer in the liver. Life expectancy?

    My aunt has cirrhosis of the liver. She was diagnosed 2 years ago but never did anything about it. It is now stage 4 cirrhosis. A couple weeks ago, they found cancer in her liver as well. She is 69 years old. She has high blood pressure and sugar. Doctors say they will try a one time...

    Source(s): aunt cirrhosis liver cancer liver life expectancy:
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  • Anonymous
    6 years ago

    Life Expectancy

    Liver is one of the vital organs of the body. When there is any kind of irreparable or irreversible damage to the liver, the life expectancy reduces greatly. In order to assess the prognosis of a liver disease, especially cirrhosis, doctors follow the Child-Pugh score. This assessment score helps doctors determine the type of treatment, as well as the need for a possible liver transplantation. Child-Pugh score uses five clinical measures to indicate the progress of the disease. Each of these measures are scored on a scale of 1 to 3.

    You can know more other ways to improve liver, such as suitable diet, natural measures .you can refer to here to understand more:

    Hope this useful!

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  • Pal
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    If she chose not to get treatment 2 years ago when she was diagnosed then she doesn't deserve to push a younger person who has a lot to live for off the list. Her Dr. is wasting her money and his time giving her chemo if she won't even try to take care of herself.

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  • 5 years ago
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