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Pancreas Cancer

I don't think so... was posted 09/30/2009 10:06 am by Sarah (MCN)
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...a 'modified Whipple' is not a partial tumor removal. It removes the entire tumor. The 'modification' is that they remove less of the surrounding digestive system. They don't do partial removal of pancreatic tumors because pancreatic resection is a very grueling surgery and delays the start of chemo/radiation. It's not worth it if it's not going to have any chance of being curative.

All that said, I wouldn't settle for a doctor who had given up on me in advance. I'm often shocked by the stories I hear here of doctors who write off PC patients who are willing to undertake treatment without even trying. At least seek out a second opinion at a high-volume center. I don't have any personal experience with this, but if you search here, I believe you will find the names of some doctors who will undertake surgery even if the tumor encases the SMV.

Finally, while you should understand that a clinical trial is unlikely to save your loved one's life, it is a way to give some meaning to the whole experience--to contribute to the discovery of more effective treatments for future patients. I'm shocked that this doctor didn't address that consideration before rejecting a trial out of hand. Doctors are supposed to encourage PC patients to consider a trial, at least on that basis.

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*DISCLAIMER: This page is an unmoderated forum, and the opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. Patients are advised to consult their personal physicians before making any medical decisions.
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