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Pancreas Cancer

Senstive but needs to be was posted 08/29/2012 12:17 pm by discussed
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I think some folks will be upset with the this article and I can understand that. But it is something I have personally considered more than once in thinking about how I would handle a recurrence. That plus the side affects/suffering some of the treatments present which come to a quality of life issue to me. My sister took Gleevec (one of the successful targeted drugs mentioned) for a gastrointestinal stromal tumour (GIST), for which she had surgery and then it was prescribed to try and keep things in check. It was not cheap, over $5000 per month and if the drug company had not provided it to her for no cost through patient assistance she could not have afforded it. I guess it worked in a way since the GIST was kept in check, but it had a fatal side affect, kidney failure. I totally agreed with her oncologist on one thing, kidney failure was by far a gentler death than she would have faced with GIST. She lived less than one year after surgery for GIST and took the Gleevec (oral chemo.) for the duration. Was it worth the cost? In retrospect to me, yes, but not for the tumor growth suppression it provided or the 'extra' time, but for the gentler death. The kidney specialist had insisted she stop the drug, her oncologist told her she would not survive either way, but would have a better quality for the life she had left. I am grateful the drug was developed, thankful for her very honest and caring oncologist, and that she trusted him.

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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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