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Pancreatic Cancer Treatments

taylork
Posts: 11
Joined: Sep 2004

My husband is 62 years old and diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. The tumor was at the head of the pancrease and the Whipple procedure was performed. 10 out of 10 nodes negative for tumor around the surrounding area. However the tumor in the head of the pancrease was cancer. The pyloris preserving pancreaticoduodenectomy was performed on 8/27/04. He has done well with this. The question now is the treatment after the surgery. Chemo and radiation are recommended. The tumor was touching the main blood vessel and they cannot be sure that any micro cells might be there so the next step is the after treatment. The big question is we live 2 1/2 hours from the hospital that did the surgery John Hopkins and according to what we understand the recommended treatment is 5 days a week for 6 weeks have chemo and radiation at the same time. Is this the standard protocol for pancreatic cancer after the whipple and would going to a closer cancer center be ok. Are the treatments the same for this type of cancer. Help I am desperate for answers as we need to start treatment right away. Please contact me as soon as possible...Desperate for help....!

bmcadams
Posts: 10
Joined: Oct 2004

My father went to the Cancer center at North Arundel Hospital I also hear the cancer center at Anne Arundel Medical Center is good. You did not mention if you live north or south 2 1/2 hrs from Johns Hopkins. I wish you and your husband the best

taylork
Posts: 11
Joined: Sep 2004

We live in Delaware. But my mom lives in Pasadena and very close to the North Arundel Hospitol. How is your Dad doing and how were the treatments on him? Thanks so much for responding so quickly.

bmcadams
Posts: 10
Joined: Oct 2004

They were really great at North Arundel.He had a bad time with the chemo strange as it sounds his back hurt more than anything. My dad got a clean bill of health at the end of June but it has come back now and it's in his liver also. He is currently in Virginia staying with my grandmother and going to a Dr affiliated with Duke university. I am running out of hope.

taylork
Posts: 11
Joined: Sep 2004

When did they discover the cancer and did he have surgery for this? How long after the treatments was he clean? Bless you and him. It is such a fight. It wears you down

bmcadams
Posts: 10
Joined: Oct 2004

He came to visit me from Florida for Christmas December 21, 2003. He went to the ER December 22, 2003 because we all noticed he was yellow. He had a Whipple and they also removed his gall bladder, part of stomach and part of small intestine. He had chemo and radiation with the last treatment in June. At the end of June all blood work and cat scan were normal. He went to stay with my grandmother August 1, 2004 and did real well gaining lots of weight back but he had a blood test late September which showed an elevated tumor level then the cat scan showed the worst we just got the results this Tuesday and that is when I decided I needed to talk to other people and maybe I could help someone else and that would take my mind off the fact that he might not be here forever. I am only 34 I have an 11 year old and a 3 year old that Just will not deal with this well. My dad lived with us for almost 9 months and he has always been close to my kids. I just do not know what to do.

geewhiz
Posts: 1
Joined: Oct 2004

I had the Whipple operation on Aug 6, 2004 at Hopkins (Dr. Yeo). I go next Tues for a 3D CAT scan, which is to provide the basis for planning at least 5 wks of chemo and radiation (IMRT). If I were not approved for the IMRT, I would have gone to an oncology center in Columbia, MD for the chemo (5FU) and radiation ( 3DConformal RT).

I am convinced that IMRT is preferrable since it should minimize damage to the good cells. If you can get approved for the IMRT, go wherever you can that's practical for you. The Univ. MD Medical Center in Balto. has had IMRT for at least 5 years. Dr. Song at Hopkins will be directing my radiation treatments.

Either protocol is to insure that any micro metasasis that may have occurred is "killed" before it affects another organ. (I had 6 of 24 lymph nodes that were malignant - therefore, a stage 2 diagnosis (tumor < 3 cm.).

Hope this helps. By all means, do not delay, since Pancreatic Cancer is one of the most deadly unless treated early and thoroughly.

Don

taylork
Posts: 11
Joined: Sep 2004

What is IMRT?

josephc9765
Posts: 3
Joined: Oct 2004

My mother had the same diagnosis as your husband and underwent the whipple in May 0f 2003. 25 out of 25 lymph nodes tested clean and they did not suggest a prophylactic chemo regimen after her surgery. Her follow-ups were completely clean for 18 months. Her last follow-up a few weeks ago found aggressive mets in the liver, mesentery (already compromising kidney function) and suspicious areas in the lung. They said there are no options for her other than gemcitibine which does not appear to be a very good one. Obvioulsy no one can be sure, but i wonder whether there might have been a different outcome if she did the chemo regimen following the surgery. All my good wishes. Joseph

bmcadams
Posts: 10
Joined: Oct 2004

I am sorry to hear about your mom. My dad had the chemo and radiation after the whipple this year and it has already come back and spread to the liver after only 4 months. You and your mom are in my prayers

Cindy6540
Posts: 7
Joined: Mar 2005

I am very sorry about your dad. Please respond to this email email and let me know how he is doing and what treatments he is going thru as my husband(49 years old) had the whipple and within 5 weeks it has spread to the liver. what is next? Please advise and God Bless.

viki83mk
Posts: 1
Joined: Oct 2009

Hi

Well..... my mom who is 55 years old had her whipple procedure done on 10th of August. It was cancer on the head of the pancreas stage 2a no metastasis to the 7 lymph nodes they tested. Tha doctors sugested chemo with Gemzar so they can be sure that there is no metastasis. She started her chemo on 15th of September and she is doing well. She has some back pain,low apatite and the problem that terrifies me is that the doctors took out for the second time , liquid from her left lung.The first analized liquid did not show any cancer cells in the lungs, we are doing the second test tommorrow. I am very frightened....Only having God in my thoughts and asking him to help her.

Did anyone have this kind of problem with the lungs, doctors told us that sometimes it is normal after a whipple procedure ,liquid to fill the lungs, but I am not sure anymore.

Please can someone tell me if this is normal????
God bless everyone

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