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I couldn't believe your story as I read it below. It was eerily similar to my own, with different diagnosis. I was diagnosed with a non-functioning islet cell tumor on the tail of my pancreas this past May. My wife and I also have three daughters (16,13,10) and the youngest has DS. How is that for weird?
My tumor was a 2.5 cm well-differentiated pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor (non-functioning). I had an EUS to biopsy it and met with a surgical oncologist who recommended the distal pancreatectomy. I had the distal at Indiana University Medical Center in June 2009. I had no metastasis and no lymph node involvement. All in all, good results. Unfortunately, one cannot determine malignancy in islet cell cancers from pathology alone so we are in wait and see mode-- hoping for the best.
As others have said, well-differentiated is good, but is only a piece of the puzzle. The key for you is to find a doctor and hospital that is a hgih volume pancreatic cancer hospital and find a doc that specializes in this and this only. There are several great ones out there and there is a world of difference between them and the docs who are more generalists.
My girls held up well throughout the summer. I had a near-fatal pulmonary embolism after surgery and a host of post-op complications but survived and am now back to 100% (at least until my next scan:)
My wife and I will pray for you and your husband. Our stories are just too similar.
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