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Has anyone chosen NOT to have a gastrectomy?

Posts: 2
Joined: Jun 2013

Hi there - am new to this site and discussion forum.  I was diagnosed with Stage IV stomach cancer last February at the age of 38.  I was given 10-12 months to live.  I began chemotherapy in March 2012 and have had 26 treatments to date.  I underwent an open hernia repair (the original incision opened) in Feb 2013 and the surgeon noted that my stomach was now "normal" and all signs of metastisis had disappeared.  In May 2013, I traveled to MD Anderson for a 2nd opinion - at that time, all biopsies and scans were negative for cancer and they recommended a total gastrectomy; however, they were unable to provide any data to support that the surgery would prolong my life.    I am currenlty on a chemo break and will return to Texas again in July to discuss their recommendations and finalize a go-forward treatment plan. 

So, the "experts" at Anderson have recommended surgery but my oncologist and surgeon feel that there is no point to the surgery as there is just no data to indicate it would prolong my life given the advanced nature of my cancer initially. 

Any thoughts? 

JennySC's picture
Posts: 32
Joined: Jan 2013

Congratualations to the success of your treatments so far!

I have just recommended the Facebook group twice in the replies. Many people have shared their great story of being cancer free after the surgery. And I have a friend's brother with Stage IV stomach cancer is cancer free now after he had the surgery 12 years ago and then doctors gave him only a few months to live.

People have much better chance to live long with the surgery on stomach cancer. My husband has done 9 chemos but he has no option of surgery. The side-effects of chemos have been built up. Without the surgery, you will probably have chemo later. Based on the researches and observation, our dream would be for my husband having the surgery some day.

Praying for you to find the best treatment!

Posts: 4
Joined: Mar 2014

I am still waiting for my Surgeon to set surgery date. I am not sure if I want to go through with it.

I have stage IV stomach cancer elevated from stage II; 6 months ago the surgeon aborted the stomach operation after finding two small spots on peritoneum area. They are too small to be detected on Pet scan. However I am not keen on the idea of full stomach removal. I have no information on success stories with people living without a stomach to comapre with.


Posts: 16
Joined: Oct 2012

Ara1, my first recommendation is to refer you to Debbie's Dream Foundation. Debbie the foundation's founder is a 44 yr old women diagnosed with Stage 4 stomach cancer over 5 years ago. The foundation's web site has great information to help you think through the decisions you need to address.  Second, I too am a stomach cancer survivor that underwent a partial gastrectomy, chemo and radiation treatment within the last 2 years. All I have read suggests that surgery has a better survival result than non surgical treatment. Lastly don't be influenced by the stage of cancer you are labeled with. These are just classifications and your condition is unique to you as well as what treatment best fits your situation. best of luck. 

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