How do lifestyle factors and exposure to environmental substances affect our cancer risk?
by Amandako on Sat Jun 30, 2012 12:12 AM
My dad is 68 years old and in good health. He had a colonoscopy that came out fine but they found something in his CT scan. It now appears that he has 2 masses on his pancreas and 5 lesions on his liver. They said it appeared to be secondary cancer on his liver from the pancreas. At the time he has NO symptoms of the cancer and looks so good. Everything I read about pancreatic cancer is just an utter horror story. He had his first appointment at the cancer center and it's inoperable they will be doing Chemo soon. I just want an idea as to how much time someone in this type of situation might have. I want him to have hope but I feel like the doctors are sugar coating this instead of just giving it to us straight. I know that only God knows when it's your time. And I'm fine with that. I just want some kind of idea what to expect with this. So far it seems like he has not got that from his doctor.
by AliveInOldeTown on Sat Jun 30, 2012 02:57 PM
I am sorry to learn of your Dad's situation. When I was diagnosed, the surgeon told me that if the cancer had spread to other organs, I could expect to survive from 6 to 18 months. Chemo would be offered but only as paliative treatment. Another situation I know specifically about - The wife of a co-worker who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer at age 54. Her situation was similar to your Dad's. The cancer had spread to the liver and surgery was not an option. The doctors gave her 6 to 18 months provided she took chemo. She survived two years after diagnosis. She was on chemo the whole time.
I have read of others on the John's Hopkins site with stage IV who are alive several years after diagnosis. They are on Chemo and have gone through several different chemo combinations to achieve the longer survival rate.
I am sorry to share this info with you. The stats with this cancer are terrible. We all deserve honest answers from our doctors. Perhaps you or someone else can go with your father on his next appointment and speak personally with the doctor to get a better idea of his situation. All of the doctors involved in my care were very blunt and speficic about the statistics. It is hard to take it all in when you learn of the diagnosis. It's possible your Dad was in a sort of shock and didn't hear everything the doctors were telling him. I know I wa and maybe that's why they kept repeating the stats to my husband and I. I suspect your Dad's doctors will react the same way.
Again, sorry to learn of your Dad's diagnosis.
by Amandako on Sat Jun 30, 2012 07:58 PM
Thank you for the reply. He has an appointment Monday to discuss the port for Chemo, I'm going to go with him and my mom. My mom went with him last time. It was just weird because everything I've read is so bad. They seemed to have been more hopeful after the appointment. His doctor is very highly regarded. I guess at the time the best news is that both his liver and pancreas they said are functioning properly. If you don't mind me asking how are your treatments going? Are you experiencing bad side effects?
by AliveInOldeTown on Sat Jun 30, 2012 09:40 PM
Hi, My situation is a little unusual. I was diagnosed very early and had successful surgery 9-1/2 years ago at age 50. Some times I feel bad and often sad to respond to anything other than questions on enzymes, or post surgical issues because many people here are facing difficult treatments and health challenges that were different from mine. The location of the tumor caused me to develop jaundice and that is how the cancer was caught early stage. There are many here who can share experiences with you on chemo treatments. I did not have follow up chemo. I knew of my co-workers wife and her experience and thought I would share that with you in addition to what I was told when first diagnosed. A diagnosis of PC is difficult for the patient but I think also espcially for their families.
Have you posted on the Johns Hopkins Pancreatic Cancer Board? Lots of people there who will share their experiences, including the ones I mentioned who are on Chemo, Stage IV and are still active 3 to 4 years after diagnosis. One man MarkB (a very kind and gentle soul) is several years into treatment for Stage IV. He could be helpful for info. for your Dad.
Here is a link to the site: http://pathology.jhu.edu/Pancreas_chat/
I hope all goes well with your Dad's treatments.
by Amandako on Sun Jul 01, 2012 12:02 AM
Thank you so much. It's so nice to have a place like this to go and just talk to someone. I will check out the link you sent me. I'm very glad that you're was caught early. Thanks again, Amanda
by Mell797 on Sun Jul 01, 2012 12:35 AM
I hope you chose the B17. The Laetrile or B17 only activaes on the cancer cell or tumor cells. Many wild mamals are protected from cancer beause they eat grasses that have the natural product that we call B17. Canines and bears will eat Johnson grass several times a year to get the B17, Salmon berries of northern lattitudes has it. using Laetrile and a capsule of cayenne pepper and do not forget the 4,000 IU of vitamin C That is an excellent combination --Most of the mammals produce 4000 iu of vitamin C internally daily. In addition to being a healthy vitamin it is a natural blood thiner.
by Mell797 on Sun Jul 01, 2012 12:48 AM
I hope you chose the B17. the b17 as in Laetrile only functions on the cancer cells and tumor cells where-ever in the body. Many wild mammals are protected from cancer beause they eat grasses that have the natural product that we call B17. Canines and bears will eat Johson grass several times a year to get the B17, Salmon berries of northern lattitudes has it. Using Laetrile and a capsule of cayenne pepper and do not forget the 4,000 IU of vitamin C That is an excellent combination --Most of the mammals produce 4000 iu of vitamin C internally daily. In addition to being a healthy vitamin it is a natural blood thinner.
by chuck1943 on Sun Jul 01, 2012 10:03 AM
by luvmysister on Wed Jul 11, 2012 04:37 AM
This past week I sat in hospice with my sister for 5 days. Her fight for 9 months was heroic but hopeless. She tried Gemzar/Abraxene and 5 FU. Her problem was constant infections. Several operations to clear infections at the stent, C Diff, UTIs, and some that they simply gave up trying to determine were the infection was. She had terrible neuropathy from the 5 FU and her mouth and throat were lined with ulcers. She so wanted to live for her children and grandchildren but it was not to be. As I look back at these past few months, I wish she had said enough when the Whipple was stopped after they opened her up. She was fighting so hard to live that she ended up keeping herself away from everyone because she was so fearful of picking up any germs. Three months with the ones she loved would have been better than the six months she spent with just the bathroom and her bed.
It is a choice that no one but the person going through it can make. It is a heartbreaking disease that seems to be attacking more and more people. My sister is the sixth person I know personally that has died of this disease. One of our friends was diagnosed 3 years ago and said he would try radiation but no chemo or surgery. We have enjoyed his company now for 3 years though his last report was not good. So a few months or a few years, I don't think they have a clue.
My sister told me that she believed that the day we were born our expiration date was determined. Perhaps she was correct. Up until my sister, our family has lived exceptionally long lives. She was an amazing person that touched so many lives by just the small things she did for everyone. I will miss her terribly and I know there are many more like me.
by rose2617 on Wed Jul 11, 2012 03:05 PM
My husband was recently diagnosed at age 57. He also has liver mets. That means no surgical options and Stage IV. Like your Dad, no symptoms and feels fine. He has just started this week with a chemo cocktail called Folfironox. If your Dad has no other health issues then this is the best chemo option available. It is a difficult treatment, is new, but clinical trials found it doubles the life span as long as one is able to stay on the chemo. Sadly, it still is not very long. The average is 6mo, on folfironox a year. Now that is an average. Some have made it longer, up to 2yrs. It all depends on the person. Once the PC has broken out and travelled the blood stream it can be anywhere. Our Dr said that having a pet scan to find out will only increase our stress levels. We are in a state of shock here.
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