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Pancreatic cancer

Posts: 4
Joined: Aug 2010

My mom was diaganosed with pancreatic cancer in June 2010. She is undergoing chemo of gemzar and eloxatin. Her ca9-19 test came back a little lower after the first round, stable with the second round and we have not gotten back the third round results. The tumor is abutting the SMV artery. Dr.'s are hoping to shrink the tumor then perform the whipple. I was wondering if anyone has had a similar situation where the tumor was shrunk and was removed? Weird thing about her case is she had over 20 tissue samples taken thru EUS and they all came back inconlusive or necrotic tissue. She feels fine and had no real symptoms. Thank you

Posts: 3
Joined: Aug 2010

My wife is currently recovering from the Whipple @ UCSF.She was diagnosed december,2009
and they tried surgery immediately but discovered portal vien involvement.After recovering
she started chemo in february 2010,Gemcitabine then 5-Fu with radiation,standard treatment.
She was given 9 mos to live.She completed the chemo and was re-assessed at UCSF for Whipple
#2.Although the tumor had shrunk it was still wrapped around the vien but had not invaded it.So many hurdles to jump thru but you need to take them one at a time and make sure you
go to a 'high volume' pancreatic surgical center.Educate yourself and question everything. I hope this helped you,best of luck to you and your mother.

Oneshot's picture
Posts: 77
Joined: Jul 2009

In 2008 I was diagnosed with stage 3 pancreatic cancer. With all tests and scans showing it to be around an artery. I had aggressive radiation and chemo (Gemzar) for several weeks before having my Whipple procedure. The doctors told me the radiation would cause the cancer to get a hard crust and possibly cause what is termed as shrinking. This with the chemo was to make the cancer easier to remove. Even with all the modern technology the prognosis didn't look to good. I had the Whipple procedure. They removed my gall bladder, some of my small intestine, 1/3 of my pancreas and 17 lymph nodes. While they were in there they noticed the cancer was around my artery but, not attached to it and they were able to remove all of it. Because of the location of the pancreas it makes it real hard for the doctors to see every detail. If they had not done the Whipple and saw that the cancer was not attached to the artery.....Well, I wouldn't be here today! I recommend you make sure and have your mom see doctors who are specialized in pancreatic cancer. I went to Texas Oncology at Baylor Hospital. My doctors were great. The were very upfront with me and attacked my cancer aggressively. After my Whipple. They had me wait a month to get my strength back and started another round of chemo just to make sure the cancer was gone. I had my ups and downs with the chemo after the surgery ,but, I'm not complaining! In September this year, I will be cancer free for 2 years. I'm glad to hear she feels fine and has no symptoms. That's a plus!

Keeping You and your family in my prayers!


Posts: 4
Joined: Aug 2010

Thank you for responding. She is going to start radiation and chemo next week. We are in the process of getting a 2nd opinion from johns hopkins. Chemo so far has kept it from growing and spreading, hopefully the radiation will shrink it. SHe is going to have radiation 5 days a week for 5 weeks. It helps to know there are other people that have gone thru the same thing. So happy to hear your cancer was removed. Thank you again for thoughts and prayers. My thought and prayers are with you as well.

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