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Doctor insights on: Advanced Pancreatic Cancer Prognosis

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What is the average prognosis for pancreatic cancer?

What is the average prognosis for pancreatic cancer?

Depends: For the 85% or so of patients who present with disease that cannot be resectable, survival is usually 6 months or less without treatment and around a year with aggressive chemo +/- radiation. Surgery with negative lymph nodes has about a 25% 5-year survival rate with chemo and radiation. Surgery with positive nodes - about 14 months average with chemo and radiation. ...Read more

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Dr. Barry Rosen
4,224 doctors shared insights

Cancer (Definition)

Cancer is a group of diseases that is characterized by uncontrolled cell growth leading to invasion of surrounding tissues that spread to other parts of the body. Cancer can begin anywhere in the body and is usually related to one or more genetic mutations that allow normal cells to become malignant by interfering with internal cellular control mechanisms, such as programmed cell death or by preventing ...Read more


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Pancreatic cancer, ampullary tumor. Whipple procedure. Spread to liver, not respectable. Chemo for 6 months and continuing. Prognosis?

Pancreatic cancer, ampullary tumor. Whipple procedure.  Spread to liver, not respectable. Chemo for 6 months and continuing. Prognosis?

Poor: While Whipple is the best approach for a primary pancreatic or ampullary lesion, the recurrence rate at 1-2 yrs is 90%. Chemo either of the FOLFIERI or Genciabine /Abraxane combo have limited effects on liver mets which in pancreas are not considered amenable to resection. There is an FDA protocol using specific monoclonals targeting pancreas that might be available but only after chemo failure ...Read more

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Do all people that have advanced pancreatic cancer fear their eventual demise on a daily basis?

Do all people that have advanced pancreatic cancer fear their eventual demise on a daily basis?

Fear: When you are told that you have a cancer, no matter where it is in your body, it is regrettably normal and appropriate to be scared. You must discuss this with your doctor and it would also be to your advantage to see a Psychiatrist or Psychologist. You will be well looked after! ...Read more

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In addition to gemcitabine, are there any new treatments for advanced pancreatic cancer (in older people)?

In addition to gemcitabine, are there any new treatments for advanced pancreatic cancer (in older people)?

Cyberknife: Aggressive local treatment in addition to chemotherapy has offered good palliation of the symptoms and improvement of local control. Use of cyberknife radiosurgery in elderly with advanced pancreatic cancer patients is usually very well tolerated and improves local control and can offer palliation if patient is symptomatic. Gemzar (gemcitabine) alone or in combination with 5-fu mainstay of systemic therapy. ...Read more

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What would symptoms be if I had advanced pancreatic cancer in the tail and is it possible to feel the tumor in the LLQ of my back?

What would symptoms be if I had advanced pancreatic cancer in the tail and is it possible to feel the tumor in the LLQ of my back?

Upper GI bleed: Tail of pancreas cancers rarely cause pain. Rather as they grow they obstruct the venous output from the spleen from blood feeding the spleen via the splenic artery. The spleen output is shifted to the vasa brevia of the greater curvature of the stomach where varices are formed and GI bleeding follows. Spread to other sites also noted early ie. liver. ...Read more

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If pancreatic cancer was the cause of urq disc in 34yr would it be advanced enough not to be missed on CT scanw contrast?Test normal but still worried

If pancreatic cancer was the cause of urq disc in 34yr would it be advanced enough not to be missed on CT scanw contrast?Test normal but still worried

Probably not : Symptomatic pancreatic cancer is usually easy to detect by ct. A normal scan, especially in a 34 year old, makes pancreatic cancer very unlikely. There are, however many other mire common causes of abd pain such as gallbladder disease and ulcers that are not well detected by ct. If pain persists see you physician for additional testing. ...Read more

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When is it appropriate to get an intrathecal pump for pain and digestion in advanced pancreatic cancer? Would it be a sign of the end or hospice?

When is it appropriate to get an intrathecal pump for pain and digestion in advanced pancreatic cancer? Would it be a sign of the end or hospice?

Use tens pad: Pain i not common complication of pancreatic cancer which primarily appears as a head lesion associated with jaundice. Pain is more common with body lesions perforating posteriorly into the celiac gangiion region. Here one can try a tens electric pad more easily controlled with oral pain meds than an intrathecal pump. Radiation may also control the pain if directed against the source of pain ...Read more

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If pancreatic cancer was indeed the cause of symptoms (urq disc & occ. Floating stool) wouldn't it be advanced enough to show on CT or blood work?

If pancreatic cancer was indeed the cause of symptoms (urq disc & occ. Floating stool) wouldn't it be advanced enough to show on CT or blood work?

Cancer phobia: Of course. It's human to be concerned about cancer because it is deadly if it cannot be treated, and there's so much misinformation. The "floating stools" of pancreatic cancer are obviously abnormal and are accompanied by obvious jaundice. If "urq disc" means discomfort in the right upper quadrant, look for another cause. If this baseless fear is obsessive, your physician can help. Cheers. ...Read more

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A friend w/ advanced pancreatic cancer. Chemo helped. Tumors in pancreas & liver. Intrathecal pump. Digestion problems. Released to go home. Hospice?

A friend w/ advanced pancreatic cancer. Chemo helped. Tumors in pancreas & liver. Intrathecal pump. Digestion problems. Released to go home. Hospice?

Advanced cancer: It seems reasonable and sensitive to engage hospice; hospice can help at home or he can go to a facility; hospice team can engage for many weeks. It is a good service. ...Read more

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Dr. Debashish Bose
396 doctors shared insights

Pancreatic Cancer (Definition)

Cancer of the pancreas are fast growing abnormal cells. These can be adenocarcinoma that can grow quickly, difficult to diagnose at an early stage & only sometimes can be removed with surgery. Endocrine cancers tend to be slower growing & may produce hormones & are surgically removed. Cystic cancers also may have better success with surgery. All of these can be difficult ...Read more


Dr. James Chapman
3 doctors shared insights

Pancreas (Definition)

Abdominal organ. It is digestive organ: it secretes enzymes into the small bowel which break down food and help its absorption. It is also an endocrine organ: it produces hormones involved in sugar control and control of digestion. Insulin is one of these hormones. Diabetics either lack Insulin (type 1 diabetes) or have inadequate ...Read more