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Hello all

I know I’m still recovering from my surgery of last Monday, but is there more than one meaning for the word curative? Sounds stupid I know! I finally received the results from my MRI and it says “following neo-adjuvant chemo completion, consider for curative liver resection”. How can my oncologist tell me I’m incurable if I’m not? So confused.

  • I think everyone, consultants included, have different interpretations of incurable/curable.  Or even different approaches with what they communicate to patients on this subject.  Some regard "cured" as there being no trace on a scan.  Others have the view "is cancer ever removed from the system?" once present, especially following metastatic diagnosis.  

    There are others on here with better knowledge and first hand experience of liver resection and they may see this and share a view.  But I think liver resection is a plan to remove it (from the liver), hence the use of "curable" in the local setting.  But there's always a risk is it may return.  

    Once cancer has spread to another organ, or outside the primary site, then this generally is categorised as "incurable" but often "treatable".   It depends on the context of the scan report perhaps.  

  • Wow! Thank you so much for your reply. Are you in the medical profession? I completely understand what you’ve said. I honestly think this is the first time in the last 18 months, that I finally have a clearer picture of my situation. Mmum you’re a superstar. Star

  • No, I'm not medical, but I google like hell to understand what's going on.  Luckily I know when to stop! It's my way of coping.  Some dr have asked me the same when they do their opener "why are you here and what's your understanding of what's going on?".  I'm like  "no, I just paid attention to what your colleague told me 10 mins ago!!".    Grinning   

  • I love that. You made me laugh. I probably don’t always google enough!

  • Hi Jools63, I just want to echo what Mmum said about learning and understanding your condition/diagnosis/prognosis. I found Internet research extremely helpful and, for me, research was a part of my coping process, possibly because I’m a scientist by training; but you do need to be able to sort the wheat from the chaff. I haven’t fully understood everything I read but it’s certainly helped in my discussions with my oncologist.

    All the best.


  • Whilst we're talking about googling, can I add that I bombard my oncologists (I've got 2!) with questions.  They love it!  It is their job to explain things, so we can make informed decisions.  Therefore readers, please ask your consultants everything you need to know, all your doubts and fears, what the future may look like, treatment options etc because they are best placed to advise.  We just google for additional information, the science, the trial results etc.  Or in my case, because I don't hear very well, I need to read it, to verify my understanding.  

  • Hi Jools, I agree about trying to find out as much information as you can about our own type of cancer. As Mmum has said, I do the same and ask lots of questions if there is anything I don't quite understand. In fact since day one I have taken a notebook to every consultation. I write down all I want answers to and leave a space at the side for the answer ( I abbreviate these) so I can go back and look over my notes at a later date.

    As you will realise by now, I have gone through a lot of notebooks!! Now because of side effects from the drug Trial, I also have notebooks for the   Liver Consultant, Lymphodema Clinic, Dermatology Consultant, Spinal Surgeon, etc etc an individual one for each clinic I attend. It would amaze you the knowledge I have built up! I do think it is the only way to understand what is going on! They all have their different phrases and opinions!

    Love Annette x

    Yesterday is History, Tomorrow is a Mystery, Today is a Gift!!!
  • I really appreciate your input. I’m relatively okay when it comes to my type of cancer. It’s the gene mutation she has not told me about before,  which I feel would help me understand better what is happening and likely to happen. I have said that if this appointment goes in the same direction as previous ones, I will not see her in future. Fingers crossed. I’m going in with an open mind!

  • Hi Jools, Do you know if you definitely have a Gene Mutation? I have and it can give you more options. What I can't understand is why you don't think you will be seeing your Oncologist again after your next visit??

    Love Annette x

    Yesterday is History, Tomorrow is a Mystery, Today is a Gift!!!
  • Yes I definitely do have a gene mutation. My oncologist has told me that if my scan shows that the surgery wasn’t successful, the only option is cetuximab. She has become very difficult to get straight answers from.