How long can you live after a whipple??

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How long can you live after a whipple??

by epanovski on Mon Jan 25, 2010 04:06 AM

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Dear whipple survivors,

I had my whipple surgery Sept 5, 2008. I am a 42 yr old female and I was very lucky to have had a non cancerous cyst. I am feeling great minus the occaisional bloating/gas loose stools. I was just wondering how long can one survive? Any long term survivors out there?

Hoping to be around a very long time for my family.

RE: How long can you live after a whipple??

by mebenz31 on Mon Jan 25, 2010 04:38 AM

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Hi there, I was not aware that one could get a whipple for a noncancerous cyst.... I can only answer for pc, it is the only known cure, therefore, you must get it if it is an option. I do know that a whipple has a 20% mortality rate that is why I am wondering why your docs decided to be so aggressive. I am very interested to find out about that. Unfortunately, most pc paitents are dx too late to recieve that life saving option...... as for you, if you never had pc, then you have nothing that can spread and just have to deal with the everything that goes along with losing your pancreas. I think you should be able to live to a ripe old age. GOD bless

RE: How long can you live after a whipple??

by Beverage10 on Mon Jan 25, 2010 11:32 PM

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I am wondering the same thing and this is what I have found searching the web (which we know isn't always completely reliable).  The longest survivor I have read about is 39 years and counting, not sure if that was PC or non-cancerous. I read that 20% make it to 5 years and 20% of that 20% make it to 10 years.  My father had the whipple on November 20th 2009 and I am keeping my hopes up that he makes it 10 years. His cancer didnt spread and was encapsulated.  He is now in chemo and just had a clean pet scan. I keep reminding myself of Steve Jobs who had the whipple in 2004 and runs Apple Computers.  If he can run one of the most successful companies in the world, my father can keep at his job too.

Good Luck and keep us posted.

RE: How long can you live after a whipple??

by Joan_l_3 on Mon Jan 25, 2010 11:47 PM

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Beverage10,

Steve Jobs also had a liver transplant in '09 which suggests that he had progression of his cancer.  By the way, Jobs had neuroendocrine cancer not the worse adenocarcinoma.  If Jobs was a mere mortal such as most of us are, he would not have gotten a new liver.  His money appears to have purchased his new liver to replace his old cancerous liver, a situation that usually is not permitted.  Most pc survivors don't last anywhere near as long as 10 years, no matter what you have read.  The life span for pc patients isn't much better than it was 50-60 years ago.  There just isn't enough money spent on research to effect any real changes.  The patients don't live long enough to be advocates.  Remember Randy Pausch?  He lived for about 5 minutes and was an excellent advocate during that time. 

My husband had Whipple surgery 12/06, clean margins, no lymph node involvement, radiation and 5FU and then 6 months of Gemzar.  He died 1/4/10.  Forgive me if I am a bit bitter.  

RE: How long can you live after a whipple??

by mebenz31 on Tue Jan 26, 2010 12:25 AM

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Hi Joan,  I feel your pain believe me, you have every right to feel as you do, its a bitter pill to swallow..... My father and I watched Steve  Jobs get his new liver knowing it was not an option for us, it was sad.... Unfortunately pc recieves about 1% of cancer donations, but it is the #1 killer, until that changes pc will keep claiming one life after another. Just remember you are not alone......

RE: How long can you live after a whipple??

by lovemydad0438 on Wed Jan 27, 2010 12:28 PM

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@ Joan... am I reading your reply correctly... did your husband get his whipple procedure 12.06.09, and then pass away on 01.14.10?

RE: How long can you live after a whipple??

by sheppie on Fri Jan 29, 2010 02:32 PM

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I have tossed and turned all night about this.  You may all think I am 'out to lunch' and maybe I am but here goes.  I thought if you had a benign tumour, had it removed by a whipple or a distal then you were basically home free unless another lesion appeared? 

As I was telling my sister of what I must likely do (push for a whipple) I was telling her why....that by getting this most likely pre-cancerous lesion out, I was giving myself many more years. 

Am I confused?  And what are the long term complications?

Thank you to you powerful people on this board.

RE: How long can you live after a whipple??

by mebenz31 on Fri Jan 29, 2010 10:37 PM

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 I dont know about anyone else but after I know what I know about pc I dont even want to take a chance on something labeled pre-cancerous!!!!!!! There are NO  second chances Its kinda like hell, trying to find the door out but there is no door. If doctors are willing to do a whipple they must think you need it. If you do get a whipple for a pre-cancerous lesion I would not ever expect to see another one!!!!!!!

RE: How long can you live after a whipple??

by sheppie on Sat Jan 30, 2010 05:44 PM

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If this was aimed at me - and anyone else diagnosed with this pre-cancerous possibility......I hear ya.  I want it gone.  Trying deperately to get out of my small province where only 3-5 whipples have been done and into a larger centre to get this looked after.  

My sis pointed out mortality with whipple...and complications....I will take on those risks I think to have many more years with my beloved son (age 2).

Thanks

RE: How long can you live after a whipple??

by BCinOntario on Sun Jan 31, 2010 03:16 PM

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First of all, congratulations on your positive recovery thus far, epanovski. Like mebenz31, I was not aware until recently after reading a couple of posts at this site, that the whipple seems to be the response of choice in removing benign lesions and cysts from the pancreas.

While I don't have any stats on survival rates to offer you, I did want to encourage you by saying that there is every reason to believe that you will be around for a very long time, given that the cyst that they removed from your pancreas, was benign, and not cancerous! I am a survivor (ovarian cancer) of some years now. In 2005 a cyst was found through a routine scan for something else, which I had removed in 2008. The surgery went very well. The tumor was completely benign.

I think it is really important for people to understand the distinction between benign and malignant cysts and what the differences can mean in terms of diagnosis, treatment and long-term survival. Both benign and malignant cysts were found in 1974 when I had my original cancer. This factor made it difficult for doctors to decide whether I should receive followup radiation after my surgery. Long story short, doctors decided against giving me radiation which I was very thankful for. I have been healthy and cancer free since. 

It sounds like you are off to a good start and doing well post-whipple. I wish you the best of luck and continued good health.

 

 

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