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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
4,316 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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Where can I pay for tests for pancreatic cancer in the u.S.?

Where can I pay for tests for pancreatic cancer in the u.S.?

Anywhere?: There is no perfect test for pancreatic cancer though it is most commonly diagnosed with a pancreatic protocol ct or mri. Those can be done at most any facility. ...Read more

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CANCER: Is the DaVinci Robotic System used for pancreatic cancer in any major medical center in the U.S.?

Yes: There are likely a number of cancer centers using it. Here is the webpage for The Cancer Treatment Centers of America discussing the use of the DaVinci system for pancreatic cancer: http://ctcaho.pe/1U7XgLj ...Read more

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What is pancreatic cancer?

What is pancreatic cancer?

Uncontrolled growth: Cancer is uncontrolled growth of cells that has escaped normal mechanisms of control that exists in the body to control cell growth and repair damage that may have occurred in the dna of a cell. If this happens to be in the pancrease, (pancrelipase) we call it pancreatic cancer. ...Read more

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Symptoms of pancreatic cancer?

Symptoms of pancreatic cancer?

Depends on location: Pancreas is a fish-shaped organ with its head tucked into the duodenum (c-shaped beginning of small intestine coming off stomach). If tumor blocks bile duct or panc duct, causes abdominal pain, pancreatitis, jaundice. If it's in tail, will cause no symtptoms till very large or spread to other areas. Most common: weight loss, mental status change such as new onset depression. ...Read more

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How to cure pancreatic cancer?

How to cure pancreatic cancer?

Surgery is Key: The best option for cure is surgery. About 20% of patients with pancreatic cancer are candidates for surgery. The surgery is pancreaticoduodenectomy, also called a Whipple procedure. It usually involves removing. 1. The head of the pancreas 2. A part of the duodenum 3. A of a portion of the common bile duct 4. The gall bladder 5. In many instances a portion of the stomach ...Read more

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Symptoms of pancreatic cancer?

Symptoms of pancreatic cancer?

Highly variable: Each person is different. Much of the early stage of pancreas cancer has no symptoms. May have gradual onset of lack or appetite and gradual weight loss. Later posdible yellow jaunduce formation. Later stage pancreas cancer can cause a severe boring pain from the mid upper abdomen into the upper back. ...Read more

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What can cause pancreatic cancer?

What can cause pancreatic cancer?

Probable viral: Pancreas cancer starts out as an intraductal lesion similar to breast DTIC (dacarbazine). It smolders within the ductal system for 15-20 yrs before first signs of ductal wall invasion to become an early pancreatic carcinoma. The TAA that are expressed early are oncofetal in origin and are suppressed at birth to reappear in the tumor as the oncogenic protein. Transformation probably viral induced. ...Read more

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How is pancreatic cancer diagnosed?

How is pancreatic cancer diagnosed?

Biopsy sometimes: Patients with pancreatic masses, elevated ca19-9 levels, and clinical features of cancer can fairly reliably be clinically diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Biopsy should only be performed when the tumor is unresectable, metastasized, or if neoadjuvant (before surgery) chemo/radiation is being offered. Surgical resection should proceed to provide definitive pathology; needle biopsy often misses. ...Read more

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Dr. Al Hegab
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


Prognosis (Definition)

The prognosis is the predicted outcome or "forecast" for a disease or process. It is only an estimate but is likely based on past experience or data taking into account the individual's overall health status. It may suggest progression of disease ...Read more