My 59 year old uncle was diagnosed with inoperable stage 4 metastatic pancreatic cancer and the doctors gave him 6 to 12 months to live (March 2012).
My Uncle was supposed to have the Wipple procedure but when the doctors opened him up, they saw that the cancer had already spread to his liver. The surgeon did not remove the tumor on his pancreas or liver and just closed him back up. My understanding that there are 8 to 10 small mets on his liver that look like small, rice-like granules. I believe they are isolated to only one lobe of the liver.
We were told that chemotherapy was our only option at this point, but given that it is only a palliative measure, so we are obviously looking for other viable options.
I was devastated to learn that the surgeon did not remove the tumor on the head of his pancreas. The surgeon said that he left the tumor there so my Uncle could begin chemotherapy sooner. I don't understand why he would leave that "ticking time bomb" inside of him and it pains me to know that it is still inside him and growing even as I type this post.
We were told that surgery is not even an option once you are considered Stage IV.
I was wondering:
(1) Why won't they do surgery when the cancer appears to be isolated to the liver and pancreas?
(2) Does anyone know of a surgeon/ hospital that will do a second whipple attempt to remove the pancreas tumor (or all of the pancreas) and the part of the liver that is affected. I've heard that you can remove up to 80% of a person's liver and still retain function.
(3) Could we attempt to remove the tumor on the pancreas and do chemo/ radiation on the liver mets?
(4) Is anyone familiar with Low Dose Naltrexone and Intravenous Alpha Lipoic Acid? I've read that it is FDA approved but does not have any scientific evidence supporting the benefit in cancer patients.
(5) What nutritional supplements do you recommend? Curcumin, Vitamin C, etc?
(6) Are there any clinical trials or anything that are helping with stage 4 metastatic pancreatic cancer patients?
Thank you in advance for any help or information!!!
ANY INFORMATION YOU CAN PROVIDE WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED!!!!
God bless you and those affected by this horrible disease!