Grandma has months to live after liver cancer misdiagnosed as benign


“Don’t just sit there, you’ll regret it, you will. Don’t just sit there thinking I can relax because that’s what took my life.

That’s the message an 81-year-old Canadian great-grandmother hopes to get across in her final months battling terminal liver cancer.

Margaret Jestico sat down for an interview with CHEK, hoping her story might help women defend themselves after saying she ignored her instincts.

His journey began in December 2019 when Jestico had an ultrasound, CT scan and MRI so his doctor could get a good look at a small growth on his liver. She was told the growth was benign, which means not cancerous.

Then the pandemic struck, and Jestico didn’t recheck, even though she thought she should.

She finally had an ultrasound in August, but this time the results were quite different.

Related: Mega-Preacher Joel Osteen’s Mother Dodie Osteen Had Weeks To Live After Diagnosed With Liver Cancer. She is still thriving 41 years later. She said God healed her.

“(The doctor) phoned me and said, ‘you better get your things in order because it was misdiagnosed, and it’s cancer’, which completely upset me”, Jestico said. “I could not believe it.”

In the 21 months since her misdiagnosis, the growth has grown ten times larger and is now 14cm instead of 1.5cm.

Jestico is a fighter, however, and she was determined to give her all to try and beat the disease – but in the three months since her terminal diagnosis, she says she hasn’t been able to get an appointment for discuss a treatment plan.

“I’m very bitter that once they established what it was they didn’t move on right away, but if they had done in August I probably would have had a chance, ”Jestico said. “August, September, October and I haven’t even entered the cancer clinic yet. “

She now uses the time she has left to encourage others to learn from her mistake and get tested or screened if something goes wrong.

“That first year after they found out, I should have rocked the cage and said, ‘Hey, are you going to check this out? “Jestico noted.” But COVID hit, and everything was in chaos. “

Related: Miracle Baby Born To Mom, 30, Who Got Pregnant Just Months After Chemo And Delivered Six Weeks Earlier Due To A Secondary Diagnosis Of Liver Cancer

Symptoms of liver cancer

Liver cancer is difficult to detect because signs and symptoms often do not appear until the disease has spread to another organ or part of the body.

The diagnosis of liver cancer is further hampered by the fact that many symptoms are remarkably similar to those of most viruses, diseases and conditions.

If a person has any of these symptoms and something is wrong, they should make an appointment with their doctor:

  • Sudden weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Feeling bloated after eating
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Noticeable swelling or fluid build-up in the abdomen
  • Itch
  • Jaundice
  • Fever
  • Bruises
  • Veins visible around the lower torso

I wanted my doctor to love me, then he missed my cancer

Determination of eligibility for surgery

Margaret Jestico wants to fight her diagnosis of end-stage liver cancer, but says she can’t even set foot in a clinic in her area.

Determining whether or not a person is a candidate for surgery is done on a case-by-case basis and often by assessing the patient’s general health and the extent of the disease.

Some of the factors that determine this are:

  • Cancer location: If the mass of cells are around a sensitive area, such as the intestines and intestines or inside the liver, there is a high likelihood that the surgery will damage the tissue surrounding the cells during the surgery, and therefore the disease could be inoperable.
  • Heart disease: Heart disease like high blood pressure and hypertension, especially in combination with obesity, can lead to many complications during surgery, including infections, blood clots, and heart attack.
  • Diabetes and co-morbidities: Diabetes and co-morbidities can lead to slow healing of surgical wounds, an increased risk of infections, and heart and kidney complications.
  • Age: Younger patients are more likely than older patients to be eligible for surgery. Older patients can sometimes have unique health complications. Elderly patients are at greater risk for the aforementioned diseases and are susceptible to the natural decline in organ function that accompanies advanced age.
  • Nutrition: Poor nutritional status can contribute to complications during procedures. If the patient does not have adequate nutrition, surgery may not be suitable for them.

“Decades ago, we took everyone for surgery first,” said Dr Elizabeth Jewell, gynecological surgeon at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center previously. survival net.

She said at the time any patient was admitted if surgery could remove all but less than 1 cm of cancer cells or tumor.

“Over the years, the criteria have changed and people are only eligible for surgery if safe surgery can leave five millimeters or less of cancer inside the body,” said Dr Jewell. “The ideal situation is that the surgery leaves the patient without serious residual disease or cancerous mass in the body. “

Determination of eligibility for surgery

Learn more about SurvivorNet’s rigorous medical review process.


Chris Spargo is a senior reporter at SurvivorNet. Read more


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