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Pancreatic cancer with vessel involvement???

Posts: 9
Joined: Mar 2009

My husband, age 52, just began chemoradiation to attempt to shrink his tumor away from the SMA, SMV & portal vein. Hopefully this will allow a whipple to be performed in about 2-3 months. Anyone undergo any such treatments prior to surgery? Know of anyone having success with such therapy?

Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2009

Our situation is so similiar-- my husband is 58 and just diagnosed. He also has SMV involvement. He begins radiation and chemo next week to attempt to shrink the tumor also and then have a whipple. We live in the Chicago land area and went to the top 2 MDs in the area. One said "there is hope" So far there is no mets!! The radiation oncologist was very optimistic. I am a nurse and I am struggling inside but remaining very optimistic for my husband and family. I believe that with God all things are possible. I pray costantly and will also pray for you and your husband!!

Posts: 9
Joined: Mar 2009


Hearing from another going through similar circumstances is an answer to one of my prayers. Thank you for responding. Like you, I'm medically involved (Nuclear Medicine Technician), which certainly does increase the internal struggles - scientific data vs faith. Again, like you, our medical oncologist and radiation oncologist are very optimistic - no sign of mets. Ca 19-9 marker was a bit elevated at 74 but we were told that the presence of the tumor itself within the pancreas can account for the elevation. If it would continue to increase following treatments, that would not be so good but, as long as it lowers or holds, that's good. We live just outside of Pittsburgh, PA and my husband's surgeon is one of University of Pittsburgh's (UPMC) top pancreatic surgeons. We (you folks included) seem to have the best medical advantages available and we know that prayers do get answered. My prayers will also include you & your husband.
Since my husband is a week ahead of your husband in treatments, I will keep you posted of his progress.

Posts: 7
Joined: Jun 2009

RecoveryRn and LindaNuc,

My tumor was also in my portal vein and was inoperable. After undergoing 6 weeks of radiation treatment and oral chemotherapy, my tumor shrunk enough to where I had surgery. My surgery was a little over 4 years ago. Just keeping believing that the treatment will work.

I really feel very sorry for both of you. I believe this disease is so much harder on the wives/husbands of cancer patients, than on the patient themself. After all, we have no choice but to fight it, but for you two, you want to do so much, but there is little actual fighting that you can. Do not let this keep you down. I truly believe that my wife is one of the main reasons I am here. I was more worried about her, than about myself. This helped me by changing my focus from the disease to her. I was able to relax more and stay more positive. The support and help you two give your husbands will help far more than words can express.

Good luck

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