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A 67-year-old female asked:

What kills a person in metastic colon cancer . does the liver have to fail or can the mets alone cause death ?

3 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Ed Friedlander
Pathology 46 years experience
Many ways: The actual mechanism varies. The liver or the cancer itself can get infected. Even small lung metastasis can cause pneumonia, or the overall debility from the cancer can cause this. Deep thrombi are one of several more common ways. Biliary obstruction is more common than actual liver failure. Bowel obstruction can hopefully be prevented by your surgeon.
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Dr. Marwan Hammoud
Specializes in Family Medicine
Metastatic Cancer: This is a fairly difficult question to answer simply. When there is metastatic disease, unfortunately yes cancer begins to affect other organs such as the liver, kidneys, and brain.
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Dr. Myron Arlen
Surgical Oncology 66 years experience
Liver failure: Metastatic colon Ca is not the factor leading to mortality. In contrast to metastatic pancreatic Ca where there are high levels of TNF, this does not occur with Colon Ca. Here progression of liver masses or blockage of the biliary system to cause progressive jaundice is a terminal factor. Peritoneal seeding causing kinking and obstruction of bowel can also lead to end stage disease.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Last updated Jun 17, 2018

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