Feb 05, 2011 - 11:56 am
My husband was diagnosed with stage 3c gastric cancer (linitis plastica) on October 15, 2010. He started chemo (ECF) immediately. Going into the third round though, it was determined that this cocktail wasn't working. The fluid in his abdomen (ascites) had increased and needed to be drained. 5 liters were drained out of him that day and 6 days later 2 more liters. The Oncologist ordered a new cocktail (Folfiri), and my husband started on this a week later. Fortunately, he could tell right away that this new medication was working. Three rounds later, he's been referred to a surgeon for a possible gastrectomy. We met with the surgeon last week, and he said that provided the endoscopy and laporascopy confirm that the cancer is in remission he is willing to do the surgery. However, the surgeon clarified that there are no studies available to prove that a gastrectomy will improve my husband's odds against recurrence. According to the surgeon, my husband is somewhat unique. Most people diagnosed with his stage of stomach cancer and getting ascites (pathology showed cancer cells in the fluid) in the abdomen, don't normally go into remission. So, there aren't any studies available today which can prove that the surgery will improve my husband's odds against recurrence. Right now, my husband is eating well, looks good, and feels good. This is a pretty intense surgery, and we aren't sure if it's worth the risk to have the surgery. Everything I read points to people who are hoping for a chance to have surgery. Is there information somewhere that shows the odds of recurrence are improved when surgery is an option? We are grateful that he has gotten to this point, but are very confused about whether surgery is really a good choice.