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Pancreatic Cancer

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My husband was diagnosed today with pancreatic cancer. I have been married to him for half my life, marrying after my first husband died of leukemia. I am feeling pretty frightened about now.
Does anyone know anything about cancer treatment centers of america? I spoke with them, and they have agreed to treat him. The doctor here says all that can be done is to keep him comfortable. I want what is best for him, and am not afraid to do whatever it takes. He is feeling pretty scared. His brother died of pancreatic cancer 20 years ago. Also, what should I expect as far as progression of symptoms? I am really feeling very alone and frightened.
Thanks in advance.
Mari
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First Helper stimpson
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replied September 28th, 2004
Hello

i am sorry to hear about your husband. Unfortunately pacreatic cancer is a very aggressive tumor, and current therapy is far from optimal. It sounds like not much in terms of surgery or chemotherapy might be an option for your husband, by what you are saying...

As far as progression of disease, what usually happens is that the tumor obstructs the bile ducts inside the liver by compressing it. It may also cause instestinal obstructions and cause difficulty with eating. Still, I would seek the care of a palliative care specialist, as they would do the best to keep your husband as comfortable as possible.

Best regards,
leo
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replied October 10th, 2004
Hi mari,

i came across this health site whille randomly surfing the net. I have a close family friend who had pancreatic cancer. Because of this I was attracted to your post. I then joined the site in order to reply to you.

My friend was in pretty bad shape when he was hospitilized. Most doctors said there was not much that could be done. However a friend of another relative who was a diabetic specialist, mentioned a collegue who was a pancreatic cancer specialist. This surgeon was retained. After studying the case he performed a difficult surgery called "the wipple procedure"
( wipple may be spelled whipple, i'm not positive of the correct spelling).
The surgery was succesful however the recovery period is several months.
The surgery took place about 1990 and my friend is today cancer free and healthy as a horse he is now 74 years old (just finished installing a 120 foot long redbrick sidewalk!) I can't remember the doc's first name ,his last name is kim dr kim located in garden city long island new york.
Perhaps you can contact him to find more details or if theres a simular specialist in your area i'm not trying to give you false hope--but god willing--you never know.
Best of luck,
bill
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replied January 19th, 2005
Hello mari-

i would suggest you contact md anderson cancer center in houston, tx. My husband had pancreatic cancer and they removed it using the whipple procedure and he is doing well. He does have some tumors in his liver that has spread there, but his pancreas is cancer free. They are an awesome medical team. Worth the travel and they accept doctor referrals from all over the world. I wouldn't give up until you've been to them. Lots of luck and I know how you feel...Keep you chin up.

Karina
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replied March 20th, 2005
Cancer
My father-in-law is currently in the hospital suffering from this. Today I was watching a show on tb (tuberculosis) and found out it can affect several organs including the pancreas. Often , because it is rare, goes misdiagnosed. Has he ever been tested for it? I am going to be asking the same of his doctors this week.

Good luck.

Tanya
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replied March 23rd, 2005
I have a family member who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last year.

The whipple wasn't available since the tumor is too close to blood vessels. Chemo ( a very recent drug with a name that escapes me right now ) and radiation were used. The tumor was scarred but not shrunk, pretty much laughing it off.

The last month has been he11.

His body wasn't processing food well; he went in for a check. Apparently there was a blockage somewhere in the digestive system. One of the docs decided that a stent ( it's sort of a tube ) should be put in to the duodenum; food would travel through that instead of the natural parts.

The night he arrived home he began vomiting; it occurred the next few days, so he went back to the hospital. The stent was adjusted; he was released. The vomiting continued.

He was readmitted; the next day there was an attempt to put dye into his system ( even though he was supposed to not receive any food or liquid ).
Some dye was vomited out; some went into his lungs. He spent two days on a ventilator.

After coming off the ventilator, the docs spent about a week trying to figure out where the blockage is. Still unable to find it, a feeding tube was put in on monday. During that procedure there was damage to an intestine, which was repaired.

Another incident of vomit caused some to get into his lungs; he's on a ventilator again.

He's thin......Already thin weeks ago before the blockage....I don't suppose someone here would have a guess where it might be?

I hate the damm phone every time it rings. I don't want to pick it up because it might be coming from the hospital.
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replied April 11th, 2005
Hey
I am really sorry about your husband my mother has bile duct cancer which is almost identical to pancreatic cancer. There are some treatment centers in mexico, tijuana, and califonia. Sorry I dont have names but there is a doctor named gonzolas that has a few book out I will find the names for you and write back.
Laura
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replied April 22nd, 2005
Im very sorry to hear about that! ... My mom was diag in dec with pancreatic cancer... I think it depends on the situation... She went into the doc about complaints of her abdomen hurting ... Well they found a tumor.. Which came to be the pan cancer... They removed it... They said she was very lucky to find in the early stages...And they say there is 90% chance it will come back.. She is going to chemo and radation... I dont know very much about it.. But I wish you the best of luck!
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replied July 15th, 2005
Wipple Surgery
My dad actually just had the wipple surgery done tonight. He was diagnosed about 2 weeks ago with pancreatic cancer. He had a small tumor in his pancreas and they were succesful to remove it and some other things that may have cuased it to spread. Surgery took about 14 hours and was done in crozer chester medical center in chester, pa.

I love my father and I hope he has a great recovery from this. Although it can come back, I will pray that it doesn't. My heart goes out to anyone who has pancreatic cancer, you all will be in my prayers.
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replied November 22nd, 2005
Hi--i am a pgy-3 general surgeon at utmb in galveston, texas. We have a regional referral center for performing whipples. The whipple operation is an option for tumors that are not invading vascular structures. The problem with pancreatic cancer is that it has usually grown fairly large by the time it starts creating problems/symptoms. Needless to say, I am a big fan of cancer treatment centers of america and have referred many patients to them (and they are very happy with their treatment). But you might consider finding a regional center near you that performs whipples for a surgical consultation. Please make sure you pick a place that sees volume and is very experienced with the operation--it is a very long and tedious surgery, and the best outcomes are generally from centers that do over 20 a year.

I truly feel for all of you who have this cancer, or who have family members with this (or any) cancer. My best wishes and prayers to you all.
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replied February 29th, 2012
whipple surgery
my husband had a bile drain for 1 month followed by the whipple surgery done Sept 13 at the Indy VA medical center. He is taking chemo and doing well. He has gained back the weight he lost going through the surgeries etc., and other than sleeping and resting more, he feels pretty well.
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