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Pancreas Cancer

thoughts... was posted 12/30/2013 09:18 pm by Lyn
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I am sorry to hear that you are going through this. It is overwhelming. What is most important now is to think one step at a time....

First, she is in an excellent city for health care and Dana Faber/Brigham are wonderful places. Sometimes getting a second opinion is still helpful if you are going down a pancreatic cancer road, so remember that Mass General is nearby in case you need another surgeon/oncologist to give input. The best on the East coast is Johns Hopkins for pancreatic cancer.

Tomorrow, the focus should be on clarifying the diagnosis. That will mean discussing is any additional imaging is needed (a CT scan with contrast, if it wasn't already done... or an MRI.... or what is called an endoscopic ultrasound or 'EUS'). And then a small biopsy must be done so that they can look under the microscope at it to be sure of what it is. If they do the EUS, sometimes they can do the biopsy at that time.

My Mother also had a mass in her pancreas and several spots in her liver. They actually decided to biopsy the liver spot rather then the pancreas mass, since it was 'easier' to reach. The liver is so close to the skin that a type of 'surgeon' called an 'interventional radiologist' could do the biopsy just by sticking a special needle through the skin to the liver, while watching on an x-ray machine. It was quick, and painless.

I found it helpful to write down my questions for the doctors before every appointment to make sure I didn't forget things. Your Mom may need people to help her with this and go to appointments with her, as it can be overwhelming. And as much as possible, let her guide the decision making process. She will probably let you know what she can handle.

What is excellent is that she is doing well overall. If her health is overall pretty good, that will help her no matter what this turns out to be and no matter what treatment is needed.

And don't forget to ask the doctor what she should take for her pain. The most important thing is to help your Mom feel as good as possible, and pain is always unacceptable!

Thank you, for being there for your Mom. She will need your strength. You can do this. And your sweet children will be the greatest solace for your mother. Just keep breathing, take it one day at a time....

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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.
FULL DISCLAIMER


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