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Thread: Is it Cancer?

  1. #1

    Is it Cancer?

    Sorry for the early post but i cant sleep and didnt know what else to do.

    My dad is 59 yrs old and had been having abdominal/back pain for about a month. They thought acid reflux and a few other things but it never would get better. He finally went in and they did an ultrasound and said his gallbladder and pancreas were swollen and they did a CA19-9 test which came back high at 168.

    They performed an MRI and couldnt find anything and have scheduled him for a CAT scan tomorrow. They are also referring him to Hunstman cancer institute for an endoscopic ultrasound.

    I understand no one here can tell me what it is but should i just admit to myself that he has pancreatic cancer? Doctors never want to say anything so i figured with the vast experiance here maybe someone can help..

    Any thoughts are appreciated

  2. #2
    Senior User mydad's Avatar
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    Hi

    I know waiting to find out is hard. It could be a cyst and not cancer until a biopsy is done you can't be certain. Even though the tumor marker is a little high that can be from inflammation as well as cancer. I know it's easier said than done but I would try to wait for the test results before stressing out.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you

    Lisa

  3. #3
    Hi I am sorry to hear this. But my advice is ask as many questions as possible and don't be shy. Any treatment they offer read up on it first have other opinions if u are not happy. Good use are gettin ct scan done 2moz. Ask for the results to be explain clearly and I stress ask any questions you may have. Sometimes you can not remember at the time so write them down and take them with you. Not everyone has a bad experience but we did with our dad as we have found out, that things could of been done differently eg treatment wise ect. Try not to worry I no it very hard but worrying gets us no where. Any questions please ask this is a very good website x

  4. #4
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    Could be. Could be something else. Don't start worrying until you're sure. You'll have plenty of time to come to terms with it either way.
    - Dad, 56, diagnosed with Stage IV Pancreatic Cancer August 15, 2012.
    - Dad passed away January 25, 2013 at 2:56 PM.

  5. #5
    Well we spent all day in the hospital and got the results from the CT scan. They still cannot see any sign of tumor in the pancreas or anywhere else. However about 1/2 way down the pancreas there is a blockage in the pancreatic duct which is causing the lower half of the pancreas to have pancreatitus.

    They are not ruling out cancer as something is blocking the duct. Either way it is probably going to involve removing the lower half of the pancreas. I am having a hard time getting my hopes up but at least for now it looks like worst case scenerio is off the table...

    Anyone have any experiance with something like this? Comments are appreciated...

  6. #6
    Senior User
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    Wakeboarder, Last March I began experiencing abdominal pain along with a feeling of being hungry but feeling full at the same time and lost 10 pounds in 3 weeks. After an ultrasound, a CT scan, an MRI and and an endoscopy my GI doc said I had pancreatitis because of a blockage of the central duct but could not say more without an endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) with a needle biopsy. Got that done at Stanford in June and the diagnosis was PC. After a couple of more CT scans and hospitalization for acute pancreatitis caused by the biopsy, I had a distal pancreatectomy in July and then started chemo on Gemzar in September. I really recommend that you go to Pancan.org for suggestions on how to deal with this. We found the list of questions to ask the doctors really helpful. Push the doctors for an EUS or an ERCP. The sooner one of these gets done the sooner you can have definitive information. Early detection and treatment can lead to a much better outcome.
    Diagnosed June 20, 2012 with adenocarcinoma of the pancreas.
    Surgery on July 19, 2012, distal pancreatectomy with removal of a portion of the stomach and colon adhering to the pancreas, splenectomy.
    Pathology report July 26, 2012, clear margins all around
    Stage 2 (T3N0) in July, changed to Stage 3 Oct. 10.
    Started Gemzar Sept. 17, 2012
    6 month scan clean, NED
    Completed chemo end of March.
    July 5, scan shows pseudocyst between what is left of my stomach and pancreas.
    July 12, two stents put in to drain pseudocyst, pain on left side reduced.
    Dec. 6, results of last scan, 10 mm and 6mm mets to liver, 3 small mets to lungs.
    March 25, folfirinox is working but bad reaction to oxaliplatin. Giving it one more try.
    Switched to folfiri, minor reaction.
    5 rounds of Xeloda.
    Done with Xeloda, starting gem/abrax in 3 weeks.
    Started hospice Feb. 11

  7. #7
    Well this continues to be more frustrating. Today we had an eus and it came back as non conclusive. The doctor explained that half of his pancreas has pancreatitis which is unusual for only half to be inflamed. The pancreatitis makes the ultrasound unable to see anything. He ended up doing a thin needle biopsy in two locations which both came back negative for cancer. That said something is causing the pancreatitis but they can't locate any tumor. We have now done an MRI ct eus and we aren't any closer to a diagnosis.

    One thing they said was he has a lot of particles in his gallbladder which could be getting into the pancreas causing the issues so we are still hoping for anything but pancan. They may remove the gallbladder next week and see if he gets better. He is so sick he can hardly get out of bed or eat anything.

    Bottom line is it will probably be another month before we know and the thought of waiting another month is tough. At this point if it is a tumor it should be resectable so I don't want to give it any time to spread.

    Does anyone have any recommendations for severe nausea? He is taking lortab for the pain and zofran for nausea. But still can barely get out of bed.

  8. #8
    Senior User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wakeboarder2342 View Post
    Well this continues to be more frustrating. Today we had an eus and it came back as non conclusive. The doctor explained that half of his pancreas has pancreatitis which is unusual for only half to be inflamed. The pancreatitis makes the ultrasound unable to see anything. He ended up doing a thin needle biopsy in two locations which both came back negative for cancer. That said something is causing the pancreatitis but they can't locate any tumor. We have now done an MRI ct eus and we aren't any closer to a diagnosis.

    One thing they said was he has a lot of particles in his gallbladder which could be getting into the pancreas causing the issues so we are still hoping for anything but pancan. They may remove the gallbladder next week and see if he gets better. He is so sick he can hardly get out of bed or eat anything.

    Bottom line is it will probably be another month before we know and the thought of waiting another month is tough. At this point if it is a tumor it should be resectable so I don't want to give it any time to spread.

    Does anyone have any recommendations for severe nausea? He is taking lortab for the pain and zofran for nausea. But still can barely get out of bed.
    Sounds exactly how I spent my summer, minus the pancreatitis bit.
    - Dad, 56, diagnosed with Stage IV Pancreatic Cancer August 15, 2012.
    - Dad passed away January 25, 2013 at 2:56 PM.

 

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