FAQ - Pancreatic Fistula
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Can pancreatic cancer be treated surgically AND with radiation?


A friend of mine has pancreatic cancer, and he's getting a tumor removal surgery in a few days. If that doesn't work though, can they do chemotherapy or targeted radiation therapy?
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Chemotherapy combined with radiation may be an option if surgery is not successful. Unfortunately pancreatic cancer is a tough disease to treat.

Here is some more info:
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000236.htm  (+ info)

My uncle died from pancreatic cancer. Does this mean my dad has a good chance of getting it?


Recently, I have been doing a fair share of research on cancer. Pancreatic cancer is the scariest of them all, and my uncle died from it, although I had no idea then that it was as serious as it is. I read that people can get familial pancreatic cancer. Does this mean that my dad could get it? He has type 2 diabetes but he goes to his doctor regularly and it seems he has it under control. What are the chances he could get it? What are the chances I could get it? Thanks in advance.
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Cancer is rarely hereditary - fewer than 10% of all cancer cases are. Cancer diagnosed after the age of 50 is even less likely to be hereditary.

Pancreatic cancer is no exception; it's thought up to 10% of cases of pancreatic cancer may be due to a rare inherited faulty gene.

If your uncle is the only person in your family to have had pancreatic cancer then no, it is extremely unlikely that there is any hereditary factor.

A sign that a cancer MAY be hereditary within a family is when several members of the same side of that family have had the SAME type of cancer, especially if some developed it at a younger than usual age.

Diabetics may have a slightly increased risk of pancreatic cancer.

From the information you have given us, neither you or your father are at increased risk of pancreatic cancer.

We don't 'all have the cancer genes in us' as somebody has said here, though that is a common misconception.

Cancer occurs when something happens to NORMAL cells; it's caused by normal cells changing so that they grow in an uncontrolled way. The uncontrolled growth causes a tumour to form. If not treated, the tumour can cause problems by invading normal tissues nearby or by causing pressure on other body structures.

The idea that we all carry cancerous cells just waiting for something to trigger them is nonsense.  (+ info)

What is the average prognosis for pancreatic adenocarcinoma?


I realize this is different for everyone, but is their about an average survival percentage for pancreatic adenocarcinoma? and if not, how long patients have to live?
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You have to tell us which stage - I,II,II,IV ?
Here's a good overview from the NCI (National Cancer Institute)
http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/pancreatic/patient
If you give us a stage, we can give you averages.
Note that averages are not specific predictions for any single person.
Some do better than average. Some do not do as well

From this site http://cancer.emedtv.com/pancreatic-cancer/pancreatic-cancer-survival-rates-p2.html
Stage plays a role in the pancreatic cancer prognosis. Based on historical data:
7 percent of pancreas cancer cases are diagnosed while the cancer is still confined to the primary site (localized)
26 percent of pancreas cancer cases are diagnosed after the cancer has spread to regional lymph nodes or directly beyond the primary site
52 percent of pancreatic cancer cases are diagnosed after the cancer has already metastasized (distant stage)
14 percent of pancreatic cancer cases had staging information that was unknown.

The corresponding 5 year relative pancreatic cancer survival rates were:
* 16.4 percent for localized
* 7.0 percent for regional
* 1.8 percent for distant
* 4.3 percent for unstaged.  (+ info)

How long can a person live with pancreatic cancer?


My Dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last week. It has also spread to his liver. My sister looked online and clames that the life expectence from the time of diognisis is 3 to 6 months. I am just hoping that there is someone out there that may know more about it and if it is true that he may only live for only another 3 to 6 months. Ineed to know what I am facing, my mother is not telling me anything because she can't face it herself and he is in complete dinale about his condition.
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Pancreatic cancer is very serious. I lost a friend to it last spring. The 3-6 month expectancy is fairly accurate when there is liver involvement. I hope there are some treatments for your father that will give him more time and ease his pain.  (+ info)

How does pancreatic cancer affect your body?


Im doing an assignment on Pancreatic Cancer. I have all of the information I need but am having difficulties finding information on how it affects the body. Can someone please help me?
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IT HURTS LIKE HELL  (+ info)

How is it possible that Darth Vader dies of pancreatic cancer in Clear and Present Danger?


Darth Vader is supposed to be nearly 96% machine, and yet, in Clear and Present Danger he dies of pancreatic cancer. Not only that, but he sold out the empire for the good of the US Government. FYI - the emperor and Luke are nowhere to be found in this film, I think they were killed by the Columbians.
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ah, i love cancer humor.  (+ info)

How do you know you have a fistula?


What are some of the symptoms if you have a fistula? Is it possibly it is not a fistula when there is not pain when you pass feaces, and no blood yet you have clear sweet smelling discharge coming out?
If your female how can you know the signs if you have a fistula? Is it via discharge from the anus and vagina?

Serious anus only?
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Read up on it on a medical site.They may be able to help you.Just remember a fistula may join everything together so try not to worry .LOL  (+ info)

What is the Difference Between Pancreatitis &Pancreatic cancer?


My grandpa is 88 years old and the Dr's are not sure if he has Pancreatitis or Pancreatic cancer. I know one is Cancer but I need to know more about them both.
Please Dont Copy and Paste from wikipedia. I dont need information from that site.
Please dont just say look it up. I just heard about it and am not really in the mood to look things up
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I had pancreatitis once, in 2005, when I was 36. Pancreatitis is basically an infection of the pancreas, which can be helped with antibiotics and a saline IV. Pancreatic cancer can kill a person quickly; my grandmother was diagnosed with it in April 1984 and died in early June of that same year. At first, she was diagnosed as just diabetic and jaundiced. When my mother and uncles learned her condition was terminal, they opted to have her not undergo surgery, and my grandmother died in her own home at age 78.

I pray your grandfather has only pancreatitis, which can be cured. Pancreatic cancer takes a person very quickly, as the pancreas is the organ that produces insulin for your body.  (+ info)

What is it like to live with pancreatic cancer?


I am writing about pancreatic cancer and i need some information from someone with personal experience.

If you feel comfortable, can you please tell me about your physical, emotional, psychological, and social effects and experiences?!?!

Thank you so much!!!!
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Living with advanced pancreatic cancer

Finding out that you have been diagnosed with an advanced cancer, or that your cancer has come back, can be devastating. At first, you are likely to experience a whirl of powerful emotions.

Advanced cancer means your cancer cannot be cured, although you may be offered treatment to try to slow your cancer down. You will need to talk very carefully to your own specialist to understand what the diagnosis means for you, what treatment is available, and how treatment may help you.

It is important that you feel as well as you possibly can. Ask your specialist, GP or hospital nurse about referral to a symptom control nurse. These are specialist nurses who can work with you and your doctor to help control your cancer symptoms and improve your well being.

Your feelings:

Finding out that you have advanced cancer when you are diagnosed, or that your cancer has come back can be devastating. You probably feel confused and find it difficult to take in anything that is being said to you.

At first, you are likely to experience a whirl of powerful emotions. Anger, fear, and sadness may come one on top of the other, leaving you exhausted. You may think you should be talking all this through with your partner, other family members or close friends. But you may find this impossible to do.

There is no set way of handling all this. You may need to try to put your own thoughts in order before talking to anyone else. Or you may want to talk straight away to help you work out how you are feeling.

You may find yourself wondering why you have the cancer. Is it something you have done, or not done? Asking "Why me?" and wondering if you could have prevented your illness is very common amongst people with cancer. Many people blame themselves for no real reason. There is more about the possible causes of pancreatic cancer in about pancreatic cancer: risks and causes. Some cases may be linked to smoking. But lots of people smoke and do not get cancer of the pancreas. So again, why you? We do not know why some people get particular cancers and others who behave the same way (or worse) do not. It just happens. This can be very difficult to deal with. You may feel you have to know why you have the cancer. But you may have to accept that there is no reason why. It is not down to anything you have or have not done in your life.  (+ info)

Has more than one person in your family had pancreatic cancer?


My aunt and my brother both died from pancreatic cancer. I'm curious if other families have suffered multiple attacks of this type of cancer.

I'm entering a study at Johns Hopkins Hospital that is trying to figure out if it does run in families and I just wanted some feedback.
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Ignore the first two answers. Pancreas cancer is not rare at all, being the fifth most common cause of cancer-related death in the US. It is a terrible disease, with underfunded research. This is largely because nearly all of the prior research has produced little positive results, so the money goes elsewhere it seems. It is not rare for it to run in families, and certain genetic risk factors have been identified . Kudos to you for helping us study this. JH is a fine institution.

God bless, best wishes  (+ info)

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