stage 2A pancreatic cancer

6 Posts | Page(s): 1 

stage 2A pancreatic cancer

by Andy_M on Thu Mar 26, 2009 12:00 AM

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Been reading a lot of this site lately and some of the messages have really helped.

My dad was diagnosed several weeks ago with Stage 2A pancreatic cancer (adenocarcinoma). Let me tell you, it was a depressing few weeks and these days are going so slow. I was planning on getting married and had all these plans laid ahead of me and my dad was helping me through all of this. Then the CT report told us he had a lump in the pancreas and the days afterwards he started showing symptoms.

He has no family history of cancer, he does not drink, does not smoke, does not eat much red meat, hardly eats out, and exercises a lot. His job is not stressful and so there was no risk factor at all aside from age (he's 60) and recent onset of Type 2 diabetes.

He's just recovering from a Whipple procedure and doing quite well actually. During the surgery he lost very little blood (relative for this type of major surgery) and it took about 5 hours only. He was to be discharged 7 days after the Whipple but they decided to keep him for a few more days just as a precaution though the hospital couldn't really do much for him.

Pathology report indicates an R0 resection and staged at pT3N0MX (clean margins, clean nodes, but local invasion into the duodenum i.e. Stage IIA). The tumor was moderately defined indicating moderate aggressiveness.

In all essence, he's "cured" of pancreatic cancer. However, PC is quite resistent to chemo so micromets could cause problems in the future. I was wondering if anyone here knows of anything we can do to help defeat this cancer once and for all. I know we're very lucky to have such a good surgery and to catch the cancer fairly early but it doesn't matter much unless we can get rid of 100% of the cancer cells.

And the worst part for me is that I have many close friends and family members who are doctors. I'm not but because I'm around so many doctors and I volunteer as a medic, I can read those reports. I really understand now how ignorance is bliss.

Anyway, Is there anything we can do to help him? Diet? Experimental drugs? Herbal remedies? What about interferon? Has anyone here tried that? Thanks so much.

RE: stage 2A pancreatic cancer

by k2626 on Thu Mar 26, 2009 12:00 AM

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Sorry you and your family are going through this. You are lucky your Dad caught it in time to have the whipple. My dad passed 2 months after dx and now I am going through rule out due to my symptoms and labs.

 What symptoms did he have to bring him to have a CT done?

I have read stories of other people who have survived this for many years.So while be realistic, do not lose out on hope.

 I do not know what approach you would take at this point. What have his drs said? How closely will he be monitored? I def. think eliminating sugary foods, fats, etc would be a start, though it sounds like he eats healthy to begin with.

RE: stage 2A pancreatic cancer

by Joan_l_3 on Fri Mar 27, 2009 12:00 AM

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Hi Andy,

Your Dad was indeed lucky that he was one of the few able to have the Whipple.  Has he seen a chemo or radiation oncologist yet?  It has become the standard of care in this country to have both chemo and radiation after surgery.  This cancer frequently returns, even after the Whipple, and as a result, most patients remain on some chemo or other for the rest of their lives.  When the first line chemo stops working the next is tried until it stops working and so on.  Putting weight back on and keeping it on is a big issue for most pc patients.  Your Dad should be on a pancreatic enzyme to process the food he eats otherwise it will pass through with no benefit to him.  He should be on a proton pump inhibitor such as Nexium in the AM as well to reduce stomach acid.   Your Dad will find that he will reach a condition that most pc patients call their 'new normal' and he will learn to live with it in time.  I suggest you post on theJohns Hopkins pc support group website also.  It is much more active than this one, excepta bit slower at times on weekends.  The folks there are both patients and caregivers andhave much knowledge to share.

 Good lcu to you and your Dad.

Joan L

RE: stage 2A pancreatic cancer

by The_Wife on Fri Mar 27, 2009 12:00 AM

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First of all, to protect his quality of life, your dad needs to be taking pancreatic enzymes and an anti-acid. Poor digeston and/or an ulcer are no fun and they are both common side effects of a Whipple. Keeping weight within the average range should also be a priority. The Whipple and the cancer can result in extreme weight loss so healthy, weight-maintaining eating is important.

Second, your dad needs to be interviewing oncologists and doing some research to learn what his treatment options are. Since this is such an aggressive disease, follow-up radiation and chemo are usually done. You might check out pancan.org for information on oncologists in your area who specialize in PC. Don't be afraid the visit several and take a note book to write what they say.

I wish you both good luck and good health on this journey.

RE: stage 2A pancreatic cancer

by krissy66 on Sun Mar 29, 2009 12:00 AM

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wow sounds like your very educated on this stuff , my dad was just diagniosed with the same thing. just got the wipple surgery too 3 days ago seems too doing pretty good, all though he cant sleep very well. i jsut cant belive he has this . its such a blow too the family im in shock. i dont have any of the questions you asked but it feels good too talk to someone who is going through this hell too. i have had to pack in all the horrible things about this cancer in a week. we wont know about the pathology report till monday about if it spread or not, they said the surgery went really good though. we are just praying for him

take care lots of love

krissy

RE: stage 2A pancreatic cancer

by mtg6200 on Thu Apr 02, 2009 12:00 AM

Quote | Reply

 

On 3/26/2009 Andy M wrote:

Been reading a lot of this site lately and some of the messages have really helped.

My dad was diagnosed several weeks ago with Stage 2A pancreatic cancer (adenocarcinoma). Let me tell you, it was a depressing few weeks and these days are going so slow. I was planning on getting married and had all these plans laid ahead of me and my dad was helping me through all of this. Then the CT report told us he had a lump in the pancreas and the days afterwards he started showing symptoms.

He has no family history of cancer, he does not drink, does not smoke, does not eat much red meat, hardly eats out, and exercises a lot. His job is not stressful and so there was no risk factor at all aside from age (he's 60) and recent onset of Type 2 diabetes.

He's just recovering from a Whipple procedure and doing quite well actually. During the surgery he lost very little blood (relative for this type of major surgery) and it took about 5 hours only. He was to be discharged 7 days after the Whipple but they decided to keep him for a few more days just as a precaution though the hospital couldn't really do much for him.

Pathology report indicates an R0 resection and staged at pT3N0MX (clean margins, clean nodes, but local invasion into the duodenum i.e. Stage IIA). The tumor was moderately defined indicating moderate aggressiveness.

In all essence, he's "cured" of pancreatic cancer. However, PC is quite resistent to chemo so micromets could cause problems in the future. I was wondering if anyone here knows of anything we can do to help defeat this cancer once and for all. I know we're very lucky to have such a good surgery and to catch the cancer fairly early but it doesn't matter much unless we can get rid of 100% of the cancer cells.

And the worst part for me is that I have many close friends and family members who are doctors. I'm not but because I'm around so many doctors and I volunteer as a medic, I can read those reports. I really understand now how ignorance is bliss.

Anyway, Is there anything we can do to help him? Diet? Experimental drugs? Herbal remedies? What about interferon? Has anyone here tried that? Thanks so much

 Dear Andy,

I don't know where you live but I would recommend looking into Cancer Treatment Centers of America. (cancercenter.com). They have several locations around the country. My 43 yr old husband was dx with locally advanced PC last July. The tumor is the size of a grape but is inoperable because it's wrapped around the celiac artery. After 6 rounds of chemo and no change at Sloan Kettering we decided to switch gears and try CTCA. They will provide the transportation for your father and his caregiver to come out and be evaluated for 3 days. In that time, they'll meet with oncologists, radiation oncologists, pain management, pastoral care, nutrition, naturopaths and mind/body experts.

The nutritionists and naturopaths will work with your dad to create a
diet plan and herbal supplements that will compliment his treatment
plan. Certain supplements can actually work against different types of chemo. My husband takes Omega 3, Maitake mushrooms, melatonin and B complex. 

After 35 rounds of radiation and 3 more rounds of chemo of Taxotere and Erbitux (experimental), his PET scan on Monday showed NO TUMOR ACTIVITY. We're overjoyed but he'll have an MRI next week to see if it detached from the artery and can be removed. Even tho the tumor is dead, we need it out! 

 I wish your father a long healthy future.

 

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