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British Liver Trust
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Can anyone help

Hi I have been twice to have my liver scanned the first time was just after a fall. I was told by one doctor after my first scan that I had a fatty liver and that I would need a second scan, I was subsequently told by a second doctor just before christmas that they had found a spot on my liver as well as fatty deposits, and by the doctor who did my scan yesterday that I was back as I had fallen. Apart from worrying myself into a frazel because 12 years ago I had breast cancer what apart from cancer could this be

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Hi egypt. I'm so sorry to hear about your breast cancer, and your fall. In my-very- limited knowledge, I would encourage you to see a consultant as soon as you can. Fatty deposits are not a terrific sign, but then again, that could just be that you need to improve your diet, and by avoiding alcohol completely and limiting your salt intake but only the liver specialist would be able to tell you what this spot is, they may want a biopsy from you, have you been referred to an actual consultant yet? It may be nothing, but I understand your worry, well done in getting through your breast cancer, that must have been a very trying time for you and your family. When you see your doctor next, take a list of questions too, that you may forget to ask, see a consultant as soon as you can, to ease your worry, as we all know stress itself can be physically damaging,and draining.. Good luck and I hope you find answers soon., Best wishes. Pensylvania


Thanks for your concern about the cancer, which was a long time ago. The problem with reading is that sometimes you find out information that scares you, i.e. that sometimes breast cancer can reappear in the liver, and that is quite scary. I only need to wait till Friday and then the results will be through.


If it was an ultrasound scan that you had, then the next step in diagnosing what the 'spot' is should be either a CT scan, or ideally an MRI which will give your doctors the best chance of diagnosing what it is.

If it was a CT scan you had (when people say they had a 'scan' its not always clear what type of scan it was), and it has not been possible to diagnose the spot from that, then you need an MRI. When you were given the results of the first scan, were you told what type of scan the second scan is to be?

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The first scan was a whole abdomen and they then found fats in the liver and then the spot. This time it was just the liver and it took about 20 mins, they were both the same type of scan as you have when pregnant. I hope to have results on Friday.


Sounds like you have had ultrasound scans? Where they use an external probe over your tummy after covering it with gel? This technique uses doppler waves which bounce back off dense surfaces. U/S can be used for diagnosis in liver disease, but usually a liver specialist will order a CT scan or an MRI scan for an accurate diagnosis. A CT uses X-rays and an MRI uses a magnetic field. For a CT scan a machine the shape of a donut passes backwards and forwards over you as you lie on a trolley, and for an MRI you lie inside a 'tube' while the scan is taken. If these last two dont sound familiar, then it was probably an ultrasound both times.

The ultrasound report may give your medics an idea if you liver is healthy and smooth, or lumpy and bumpy with cirrhosis or fatty deposits, but it wont give an accurate diagnosis of whether the 'spot' is a cyst, a lesion, a fatty deposit, scar tissue, or a tumour. Any small hyperechoic masses seen on US require further evaluation, just to be sure.

Its unusual to have primary liver cancer without any previous history of liver disease. Do you have any history of liver disease, heavy drinking, diabetes or anything? Have you been rechecked for a recurrance of the breast cancer, just in case this 'spot' is a metastatic.


Hi Bolly thanks for your comprehensive answer. I was checked for breast cancer about 2 years age where they found and removed some tissue but thankfully it was nothing. I have never drunk even as a teenager I think if I have 2 glasses of wine per year thats a lot for me. I have recently lost two stone nine pounds and still need to lose at least another twenty pounds or so. There is diabetes in the family my aunt and cousin both had/have it, I was checked for diabetes last year. The only problem I have ever had with my liver was as a child was jaundice when I was about 7 years old. I am probably panicking for no reason. I should get some results on Friday


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