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Pancreas Cancer

Dad's Pancreatic Cancer was posted 11/30/2005 10:11 pm by Mary
E-mail Address: travellvr@hotmail.com

Message Text
My 75 year old Father was just diagnosed with pancreatic cancer yesterday. We were told that the cancer is in the body of the pancreas and has metastasized to his liver and peritoneal lining. The oncologist told us that Dad's prognosis is survival of about three months. We asked about treatment options and the doctor told us that Dad could opt for pallative care (hospice) or Dad could undergo chemotherapy, but that chemo would not add much time to Dad's life, perhaps only a few weeks. The doctor was very kind, but did seem to be downplaying chemotherapy as a viable option for my Father. I should mention that Dad's health is otherwise not great, but aside from some mild to moderate confusion, general frailness, and diabetes, nothing really serious. When we asked if the chemotherapy treatment would be too hard on Dad in his condition, the doctor did say that the treatments were generally well tolerated. The doctor said that they were participating in a chemotherapy trial combining gemzar and cetuximab. The doctor sent in the research nurse who explained the trial. She expressed some surprise that the doctor had only extended Dad's prognosis by a few weeks with chemo and said that other patients had experienced an increase in life expectency of an additional 3 months or so. We are all at a loss as to what to do. I want to keep Dad for as long as I can, but if the treatments just make him sick and extend his life by a few weeks, I'm not sure, and more importantly, neither is he. However, if he could have six months with us rather than three and the treatments are not too horrific, I'm all for it. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

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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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