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Thread: Mass on Pancreas/Waiting on Brush Biopsy Results

  1. #1

    Mass on Pancreas/Waiting on Brush Biopsy Results

    My mom, 83, was diagnosed with obstructive jaundice Monday. Today she had an endoscopy to place a stent to allow the bile to flow properly. They also did a brush biopsy; results will take several days and the doctor mentioned the test is not as accurate/complete as a biopsy. The doctor did mention a mass on the pancreas, but did not provide any details. What questions should I ask at this point?
    Last edited by kimberlyzartman; 03-14-2019 at 02:24 AM.

  2. #2
    My dad had almost the exact situation, starting about 6 weeks ago—jaundice, blockage found, stent, etc. CT and MRI revealed a mass on head of pancreas, followed by PET/CT confirmation. Finally got a biopsy with results last week. The first thing you will need is a biopsy of the mass to determine and confirm just what it is, so certainly ask about that. I would want to know where on the pancreas the mass was located, its size, etc. also. You need to ask about the CT scan as well, and also if/when a PET/CT would be done. My dad also had an ultrasound of his liver (after the PET scan revealed some suspicious places there), but it was inconclusive due to gas in his system (from the stent!).
    Age 51
    March 1, 2011 - Grade 1 Follicular Lymphoma from node removed from neck.
    2/22 PET/CT scan revealed one additional node in groin - also removed.
    Officially Grade 1 / Stage 3 due to second node.
    No Other Evidence of Disease.
    7/8 PET/CT shows two new small nodes - opposite sides, neck and groin.
    1/06/12 Completed Rituxan x 4 Monotherapy. 2/29/12 NED! Completed 4 additional maintenance doses of Rituxan. 12/12 NED! 6/14 NED! 2/15 NED! 2/16 NED!
    6/17 CT shows 2 small nodes, neck and groin. 7/17 doing Rituximab monotherapy, x 8 this time. All is good again!

  3. #3
    Moderator Senior User BrigitteM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    As David said, I would want to know the size and location of the tumor, whether it has surrounded the major veins and arteries nearby and whether metastases have developed. This information will affect the treatment plan.

    Also I would ask about the biopsy as this is the only way to confirm cancer.

    I would ask for additional biopsy samples in order to do a molecular profiling and genetic testing. This may point to specific treatments that could be more efficient with certain mutations.

    I hope this helps. There is a steep learning curve, so do not hesitate to ask more questions as they arise. We'll be happy to answer them with the best of our knowledge.

    __________________________________________________ ___________________
    1/12/2016 No symptoms except ongoing fatigue; blood test revealed elevated liver enzymes
    1/18/2016 Liver ultrasound, then MRI confirmed enlarged bile duct
    1/21/2016 ERCP and placement of a temporary stent
    1/28/2016 CT-Scan showed a lesion on the head of pancreas
    2/09/2016 2nd ERCP + EUS + FNA
    2/12/2016 DX Borderline resectable pancreas ductal adenocarcinoma - Stage 3 @ 61
    2/24/2016 FOLFIRINOX 3 cycles (6 infusions)
    5/12/2016 CYBER-KNIFE Stereotactic Radiation 3 sessions
    6/16/2016 WHIPPLE + portal vein and right hepatic artery reconstructions - 0/19 nodes pos - no mets. Restaged to 1A
    8/31/2016 FOLFOX for 3 cycles (6 infusions)
    Sept 2016 Know Your Tumor - PANCAN.org
    11/4/2016 CT Scan clear - NED
    May 2017 Liver lesion - DX mild fatty liver disease - NED
    Aug 2017 Several small lung nodules - slow growth - NED until August 2018
    Aug 2018 Pancreatic metastasis confirmed by biopsy.
    Sept 2018 Starting clinical trial with RX-3117 and Abraxane (NCT03189914)
    March 2019 Lung nodules are stable


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