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Pancreatic cancer: can anyone help?

(42 Posts)
JoyceDivision Fri 27-Jan-17 17:49:16


Can anyone give me guidance or advice re this?

Following a blood test, my father was diagnosed with a low level prostate cancer. Due to other symptons (pain going to the toilet and consequently not wanting to eat, stomach pains and cramps) he had a colonoscopy (sp?) And has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

He has had a body scan but not yet got the results.

The specialist he spoke to told him the cancer is in the fatty layer around the lower intestine (I think) so they can't operate but he will soon begin chemotherapy after a further biopsy.

Looking on cruk site, from this info this looks like a T2 or t3 cancer? Which seems to imply it's a case of chemo being used to prevent cancer spreading but not treating it? Also implies a 12 month ave life span after diagnosis?

I'm not sure what is right / likely to happen / what's correct.

I appreciate every case is different and there isn't a lot of info here but if anyone can shed a bit more light in things I'd be grateful... even if it soundslike not a good outcome please let me know if you have any info

1234hello Fri 27-Jan-17 18:15:31

Hi there, sorry to hear about your Dad. I'm not a medical person so your best bet is to wait for further results. But, like many people its understandable that you want more info, even if its not good news.

If it is pancreatic cancer that has spread to the colon or surrounding tissue then that is more of a worry than when cancer is only found in the primary organ.

Historically, secondary cancer (when it has spread from the primary location) was always considered incurable but new treatments for certain cancers mean this is no longer the case.

Even when a cancer is deemed incurable, people can lead a good life for many years. Statistics don't apply to individuals.

Prognosis is very dependent on how your dad responds to the chemo. This varies from individual to individual and is often impossible to predict.

Living with the unknown is really tough so I would urge you and your family to not think too much about the future but live each day as well as you can and create happy memories for everyone (whatever the outcome for your Dad).

All the best flowers

Blossomdeary Fri 27-Jan-17 18:17:34

Good advice there. I just wanted to say how sorry I am that you are having to go through all this worry and I hope that your Dad responds well to his treatment.

ElspethFlashman Fri 27-Jan-17 18:19:34

Tbh no-one can tell you much without knowing what stage it's at. That is the first step.

PeachGoddess Fri 27-Jan-17 20:29:25


I'm sorry to hear about your dad, what horrid news for you.

I work in this area. I would say that further information is needed.

Was it an endoscopy down his throat? A colonoscopy would not diagnose pancreatic cancer.

If the cancer has spread to the omentum (the fatty layer) then it is stage 4 cancer, as that is anything that has spread.

If you need any support or info, feel free to private message me. Will help if I can.

PacificDogwod Fri 27-Jan-17 20:35:37

So sorry about your father's bad news thanks

I agree with everybody else, you need more info, ideally from your father's consultant, so if at all possible (and if it is ok with your father of course!) go for appointments with him.
Write questions down.
Write answers down.
Ask who you are to contact if you have further questions after the appointment.
Ask what is going to happen next, and when.

As far as your father's prognosis goes, there is a vast difference whether he has prostatic Ca with spread to wherever, or pancreatic Ca that has spread to wherever.
Also, the best specialist in the world can only tell you statistics/ 5 year survival rates etc. What you really want to know (how long does my dad have? sad) is not something that anybody can answer with any degree of certainty - people surprise doctors all the time, both ways.

V best of luck. It is a worrying and scary time you have ahead of you and I wish you well. Try not to get too far ahead of yourself if you can.

stopfuckingshoutingatme Fri 27-Jan-17 20:55:20

What 1234 says is so true . Cancer is hard and until you know more it's hard to advise . I do agree from experience that in parallel to the medical stuff keep active and make those memories . As it could be years and it could be less so keep making the most . I am sorry if that sounds dramatic OP - but 1/3 of us will get cancer and it's somewhat in gods hand what will happen . From my own experience I say attend the appointments - educate yourself and be pragmatic and open to what may happen . flowers

stopfuckingshoutingatme Fri 27-Jan-17 21:06:41

With my dad - the treatment kept it at bay . Until it didn't . and we really made the most of it in a low key way until it became bad - and then it was fast . I hope you get a good stretch of time OP and so sorry it's such a horrible shock and I am sorry if I am honest xx

JoyceDivision Fri 27-Jan-17 21:07:24

Thank you, thank you, everyone, for your replies.

I am veering between being very level headed and practical, and then being horrofied that my dad who worked in the emergency services all his life, always swapped his christmas day shift with anyone who had young kids as soon as my siblings and i worked out about santa to make sure they had a family christmas, worked two jobs is possibly coming to the end of his life.

My parents have jsut receoved the news and still got meetings and dates, but they are very realistic and my mum has said they haven't asked for the outlook at they don't want to know, but my dad is making prepartions re finances to make things easy for my mum

It's just unfair (stamps foot)

frazzled3ds Fri 27-Jan-17 21:13:01

Joyce, my dad is currently awaiting results for the same thing - he had an endoscopic ultrasound and biopsy this week, a CT scan has shown 'something' on the pancreas - the scan being a follow up from colorectal cancer surgery last year. He also has prostate cancer. We believe that it is likely to be pancreatic cancer, and that the tests etc are to determine the extent. Like you, I've been looking stuff up on it, and I also have a friend who has pancreatic cancer and been given the news that his is terminal. If you want to rant, vent, cry or similar please do PM. Can't offer much more than that, it is indeed hideously unfair. flowers for you and a virtual hug.

KarmaNoMore Fri 27-Jan-17 21:19:51

The truth is that there is no way to know. Looking at his line of work, I would think that he has a good idea about possible prognosis and would be able to ask the right questions when it comes to his treatment.

The only that I can suggest is to concentrate in making the most of each day, it could be some years, it could be less but it is important to ensure you make the time you spend with him as enjoyable as possible as he will need people around him to cheer him up.

JoyceDivision Fri 27-Jan-17 21:21:02

sorry, rereading every one's comments, forget to to add

The appointments are very much for my parents, they are young old parents, very much awareof what's happening and capable, and my dad wants him and mum to attend, he is openwith info afterwards but I think to deal with the impact of receiving news he just wants mum there with him.

Definately agree re making the mostof now, i did have a relaxed brief chat where he said he has no regrets, lovedhis life,knows he would leave everyone settled (we only live in a small house and we were fiortunate to pay off our mortgage thanks to my mum and dad gifting us at their suprise an early inhertance, as they wanted us to be secure for our dcs future)

He can look back and be happy, his mum had a riubbish lifethatnks to a twatty hisband (and father to my dad) and he managed to in her last few years give her the life she deserved to the best of his abilities, andsuch as this I think gives him comfort

On christmas day at our house he kept dozing off while laughing at dcsand thegames they were organising, and i know he loved that

stopfuckingshoutingatme Fri 27-Jan-17 21:21:30

Oh your dad and family sound lovely OP . My honest feedback is that it's a lot easier when you love them and can be with them during this time . Please don't think I am signing him off -but to have this fear or cancer can make things so much worse . Like you are stay calm . Be at peace with what the prognosis is and spend lots of time with your lovely dad and <sob> you can always come here for a wail . How old is he ? flowers

JoyceDivision Fri 27-Jan-17 21:28:55

He's only 68! He's no age, as Peter Kay would probably say!

If I was failing at trying to sit ups he go @look, you should do it like this...' then cross his legs, tell me about an inviable chair, pretend to have his legs resting on aninvisibkle chair,do loads of sit ups with legs on invisible chair, then go and make sandwich with his bread covered in slices... yes not a spread but SLICES of butter and loads of white pepper.

Tilhe got told off by thedoctors grin

stopfuckingshoutingatme Fri 27-Jan-17 21:31:44

Bless him he sounds like a lovely kind man

PacificDogwod Fri 27-Jan-17 21:41:28

Oh, he sounds great!

It's good that your mum is going to appointments with him - so much gets forgotten.
Do pass on the tip re writing everything down. And asking questions - always ask questions!

stopfuckingshoutingatme Fri 27-Jan-17 22:09:31

Ah Joyce I feel totes emosh reading about your dad - sorry ! You don't need me sobbing on your thread but your love for him is palpable and I say clear that diary and look after him , your mum and yourself

JoyceDivision Fri 10-Feb-17 22:01:13

Hi everyone

Thank you all for your replies.

Today my dad was told his cancer is advanced, and his life expectancy is appx 6 months at the most, if he chose chemotherapy it may give an extra couple of months, but weighing up the side effects and how it may affect his quality of kife, he's declined this.

I'm gutted. I knew it was likey not to be a good outcome but it feels like he's been robbed, and he's dealing with it with such calm dignity it's not fair.

I haven't told my friends yet... it just feels surreal.

HeyRoly Fri 10-Feb-17 22:04:57

Oh shit, I'm so sorry. Your thread has really touched me flowers

LillyLollyLandy Fri 10-Feb-17 22:16:48

I'm so sorry.

1234hello Fri 10-Feb-17 22:20:45

Really sorry to hear this. I hope you can make some happy memories together.

MSLehrerin Fri 10-Feb-17 22:21:59

Sending you and your lovely parents a huge big hug. Life is shitty at times eh?

confusedandemployed Fri 10-Feb-17 22:26:56

I'm very very sorry to hear this. Wishing you all strength in the tough times to come. Your dad sounds bloody marvellous flowers

OhtoblazeswithElvira Fri 10-Feb-17 22:29:47


JoyceDivision Fri 10-Feb-17 22:31:24

Thank you... hubby is on nights so just me and dc at home... have manage dto shove them in bed (they are oblivious to what's happening) but just gutted. Life sucks and it's not fair. I don't care I'm a grown up. It's not fair.

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