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Pancreatic Cancer

Posts: 1
Joined: Oct 2009

I had my pancreas removed due to stage one cancer. The disease was contained to the pancreas with no limp node involvment.

I have two different opinions from my surgeon and oncologyst. The surgeon says chemo is not necessary and the oncologyst says I need chemo as a preventative measure.

HELP totally confused as to what to do.

Posts: 6
Joined: Oct 2009

Hi, i recently had the whipple procedure (Aug 21st). Both my surgeon and oncologist believe surgery alone is not sufficient due to the high rate of recurrence. Mine was stage IV with 2 lymph nodes positive so I would say my likelihood of recurrence is greater than yours given the staging and involvement. I have opted for chemo therapy and am also having radiotherapy at the same time (I think this is known as the Virginia Mason protocol, I'm now at the end of my second week). I believe the short term inconvenience is well worth it if it keeps the cancer at bay. This is a virulent cancer type so anything you can do to ensure it is gone for good is the right way to proceed in my eyes. Hope this helps, James

Posts: 20
Joined: May 2009

My husband had his Whipple April 29, 2009. His cancer did not spread and hopefully the surgery removed it all. His doctors all recommended chemo and chemo/radiation. He is now on the final chemo (Gemzar). He should be done in December. This is all to prevent a recurrence. Better safe than sorry. There is no guarantee either way. PC is a terrible cancer and one that recurs often. He had three treatments with Gemzar, a month off, then 5 weeks of 5-FU with oxaliplatin and radiation, then a month off and 9 more Gemzar treatments scheduled. Most of it was without side effects except for the chemo/radiation together. That was very rough and caused serious diarrhea and weight loss. He is now feeling much better and mostly back to normal. Get a second opinion if you are still doubtful or contact pancan.org.

Posts: 5
Joined: Dec 2004

I had Whipple surgery 11/27/2002. The tumour was totally contained in the pancreas, no lymph node involvement, and very early stage. The surgeon told me no chemo or radiation follow up was required. I took her advice. I'm OK. As I understand it, current protocol recommends follow up chemo as a precaution regardless of staging.

Whatever your decision, I hope you have a good outcome.

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