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Cancer: Pancreatic & Liver Message Board
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Old 05-02-2012, 01:01 PM   #1
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Marie2021 HB User
Liver lesions after Pancreatic Cancer with Whipple surgery, Chemo & Radiation- HELP

Hello,

My father had whipple surgery for pancreatic cancer almost two years ago. After the surgery he had chemo and radiation. His margins and lymph nodes were clear.

During his last pet scan, a "lesion" on his liver showed up and his tumor markers are elevated. He had additional ct and mri a few days ago and had his follow up appointment today. My mom says the results are not good, but they will give very few details about what the doctor actually said. The onc does want him to start chemo asap even though a biopsy wasn't done. My father won't agree to a biopsy and he refuses to start chemo now, instead saying he wants to wait for 2 months and see how he feels. He insists that the spot is not cancer and he feels healthier than he ever has before.

We are confused by the inconsistancies and I fear he is not telling us everything. Why would the onc want him to start chemo now if he didn't believe it was cancer? The dr said if he waits, in 4-6 months it will be too late to help him. The spot just appeared in like a 6 week time period. Also, the dr said he can't have surgery to remove it. Is this because of the previous pancreatic cancer? It sounds like the dr thinks it's terminal and my father thinks it will just go away. We are wondering how much time he may have left and dad is saying it's nothing to worry about-he's convinced it's just inflammation.

Has anyone else had elevated tumor marker results and a positive pet scan that turned out not to be liver cancer after previous pancreatic cancer?

Any help would be appreciated, we are very worried and confused. Thank you!

 
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Old 05-02-2012, 03:50 PM   #2
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Re: Liver lesions after Pancreatic Cancer with Whipple surgery, Chemo & Radiation- HE

Hi I am truly sorry for your current family situation, Cancer is such a horrible illness. I have lost several dear relatives the last 12mths through cancer and have three more currently battling the illness, at varying stages, one of which has Pancreatic Cancer. I am not qualified to answer your question directly, but sense and understand your fears and anxiety. Pancreatic cancer is extremely aggressive, and often as I understand it for a non medically qualified point of view, secondaries often first show in the Liver, which is why I believe the oncologist is keen to start chemotherapy asap. The fact that chemo is being mentioned I think is encouraging. I know you are desperately trying to help get the best outcome for your father, but I have learnt much in the last 12 mths months about cancer, and it is so important to allow the patient to make there own decisions, and have it then respected, even if it is not the same as yours. I imagine your fathers reluctance may be based on the fact he has already been through so much in the last 2 years, he must have been extremely disappointed at the prospect of yet more treatment. Maybe he just needs more time to adjust to the prospect. Also my relative actually was diagnosed on raised pancreatic markers alone as a biopsy following scans came back inconclusive. She was also given a very bleak 3-4 mths prognosis - and that was 17 mths ago - and thankfully so far she remains active enjoying life, despite undergoing her 4 th round of chemotherapy. Unfortunately her cancer was too advanced for the whipple procedure when diagnosed. I wish you and your family well through this difficult time.

 
Old 05-03-2012, 03:23 AM   #3
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Re: Liver lesions after Pancreatic Cancer with Whipple surgery, Chemo & Radiation- HE

Quote:
Originally Posted by aqua12 View Post
Hi I am truly sorry for your current family situation, Cancer is such a horrible illness. I have lost several dear relatives the last 12mths through cancer and have three more currently battling the illness, at varying stages, one of which has Pancreatic Cancer. I am not qualified to answer your question directly, but sense and understand your fears and anxiety. Pancreatic cancer is extremely aggressive, and often as I understand it for a non medically qualified point of view, secondaries often first show in the Liver, which is why I believe the oncologist is keen to start chemotherapy asap. The fact that chemo is being mentioned I think is encouraging. I know you are desperately trying to help get the best outcome for your father, but I have learnt much in the last 12 mths months about cancer, and it is so important to allow the patient to make there own decisions, and have it then respected, even if it is not the same as yours. I imagine your fathers reluctance may be based on the fact he has already been through so much in the last 2 years, he must have been extremely disappointed at the prospect of yet more treatment. Maybe he just needs more time to adjust to the prospect. Also my relative actually was diagnosed on raised pancreatic markers alone as a biopsy following scans came back inconclusive. She was also given a very bleak 3-4 mths prognosis - and that was 17 mths ago - and thankfully so far she remains active enjoying life, despite undergoing her 4 th round of chemotherapy. Unfortunately her cancer was too advanced for the whipple procedure when diagnosed. I wish you and your family well through this difficult time.
I wanted to thank you for your kind response. I'm so glad that your relative is doing well.

I think for us it's just a shock, because we were so hoping things would continue as they have been, since his scans and blood work have been clean for almost a year and he's almost 2 years post diagnosis. Things have gone so well for him, this just came as a shock. I really feel like he's not telling us everything and is refusing to admit what seems obvious to everyone else, which I guess is his right, but it's so hard for everyone else.

He feels the test results are wrong and I have read that pet scans can light up on areas that aren't cancer. But that pet scan in combination with the fact that his tumor markers are elevated, really worries me. If it was just one or the other, I may be able to believe it could possibly be a mistake, but not with both of them showing something.

Also, his pancreatic cancer was actually diagnosed as an accident. He actually had another cancer that he had surgery for and when they did a pet scan to see if that cancer had spread, they found the pancreatic tumor. They determined that the pancreatic tumor was not a secondary site, it was another primary site that they were very lucky to find.

thank you again for your response, it was very nice and I'm glad someone responded.

 
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