Pancreas Cancer Web


My dad was a healthy 59yr old man. He is not a heavy coffee or alcohol drinker nor does he smoke. He was diagnosed on April 18,2000 with stage IV pancreatic cancer with mets to his intestines and peritoneum. It all started with a rectal bleeding episode. He woke up one morning to get ready for work and felt an urgent need to go to the bathroom. There was blood and this happened 2 more times that morning. He tried to go to work and made it through half of a day, then called his doctor who told him to go to emergency. It turns out that he had lost a total of 6 pints of blood and had been bleeding (though he did not know it) for some time. They did an endoscopy, colonoscopy, small bowel follow through, and lots of x-rays. All of these tests came up clean. They kept saying no sign of cancer everything looks great. They could not even figure out where the bleeding was coming from and still haven't. His blood counts stabilized and they let him go home. He did another stool test and he was still occult blood in stool. They did another special endoscopic test and that came back negative. He hears about pc on the radio and goes to his doctor and says how do you test for it. She says with a cat scan so they schedule him for one. The day before his cat scan he ends up in emergency with excruciating abdominal cramping. They had to give him morphine to deaden the pain. They did a cat scan and all that shows up is a thickening of the bowel. The do laproscopic surgery and remove a part of his bowel. The surgeon says doesn't look like anything "don't worry". The biopsy comes back malignant adenocarcinoma. So they say that they feel what they took out is not what was on the cat scan because it did not perforate the intestine and adenocarcinome must come from glandular tissue. The only glandular tissue of intestines is in the lumen. So, they do exploratory surgery. One hour into the surgery on of the doctors comes out and says "I'm so sorry- pancreatic adenocarcinoma". The worst day of our lives. I have now learned that the surgeon made that diagnosis by feel and never did a biopsy. They closed him up and told him 4-6 months. They gave him no hope- they told him that it did not respond to chemo and that it could not be taken out. The first days were the worst. It was like we all had written him off- then friends and family helped get us through that. I stumbled apon this website and got the courage to fight. Through this website I found a specialist in our area. Dr. Margaret Tempero at UCSF. We are now working with her and one of her colleagues- Dr. Emily Burgsland. My dad is supposed to start gemzar/cisplatin soon. Right now we are in the process of definatively diagnosing my dad's cancer. He has done a helical high contrast ct scan and nothing showed up except for a nodule in his kidney(5/20/00). Since nothing shows up on ct scan and biopsy of pancreas was never done, original diagnosis is not being taken for granted. The specialists want to make sure that they are treating him for the right thing. The oncs that were in private practice had not problems with diagnosis and were ready to start treatment.(though not same treatment,which is aggressive for pc). Next week my dad will have a sonogram taken from inside his stomach of the pancreas. Treatment should start within 10 days. If nothing shows up on this test - treatment will be a crapshoot. My dad is an amazing wonderful man and I only hope that we start treatment soon and he is a responder.

Posted 05/26/2000 12:02 am by LeeAnne
E-mail Address:

Return to Main Message List

No replies on file.

*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.

Pancreas Home | Surgical | Medical | Basic Sci | Docs | Registry | FAQ | Appts | Chat

Feedback | Pathology Home | Oncology Center Home
Copyright © 2022 The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland
Last Modified: 11/11/2002 10:50 am