Pancreatic Cancer Community
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Avatar universal

pancreatic cancer

My Father-in-law is a 75y/o caucasian and was justed recently diagnosed with cancer of the pancreas.He is a non-smoker, He does not drink nor does he eat high fat foods. He also has no family history of any type of cancer.  Nevertheless, a 2.3cm malignant tumor was found on the "tail" of the pancreas.  He is currently asymptomatic and all pancreatic enzymes are within normal limits. Last year, he had his gallbladder removed. I am wondering if there is a correlation between removal of the gallbladder and the pancreatic cancer?  I am not certain of what would predispose him to this cancer.  Is it possible that removal of the gallbaladder stimulated caner cells in the pancreas?
We are taking him to a surgeon to decide if the tumor is resectable.  I am just not sure if at his age and with a heart that has undergone bypass surgery, he can handle surgery.    Do you have any thoughts on the causes of this cancer? Can the gallbladder removal have instigated this?
12 Responses
Avatar universal

What was the indication for the removal of your father's gallbladder?
Was a histopath done on the gallbladder specimen?
Was there any history of abdominal injury or trauma?
No known skin lesions or discolorations in his body?

The risk for pancreatic cancer increases as one grows older reaching about a 40 fold increase in the risk at the age of 80. Is your father diabetic? The genetic bases for pancreatic cancer has been extensively studied. Some syndromes involving diabetes are implicated with pancreatic cancer.Is there any strong history of diabetes in the family? any history of pancreatitis in the family? Gallbaladder stones may cause pancreatitis.

I hope I am able to shed some light.Stay with your father and comfort him.This must  be a difficult time for all of you.Continue to reassure him and attend to his needs.

Keep in touch.
Avatar universal
Thank you so much for responding.  The gallbladder was removed because it had become gangrene.  He was very ill and had an excessive amount of gallstones.  He was in a lot of pain prior to the removal.  There is no history of abdominal injury/ trauma, no skins lesions, or discolorations.  I'm not sure about the histopath on the gallbladder specimen. No, he's not diabetic and no family history either.

We took him to Sloan Kettering and they want to operate and remove the 2cm tumor along with the spleen.  They say that is the best thing to do and that he is very lucky this was caught so early.

I'm just hoping that it does not come back after removal.  

As you mentioned, age must be the risk factor.  I have read a lot on line about the risk in the elderly.
Thank you so much for your help.  I really do appreciate it.
Avatar universal

Your father will be undergoing several adjustments after surgery.You need to stay strong for him.

All the best,
Avatar universal

What to do and where to go with 1.5 cm leasion on head of pancreas ?Right now  i have to wait to see GI  first time  for 4 months, since I have  Medi-Cal insurance (.
Is any one want look at it in research purpose?  

I went to pancreas cancer simposium in San Francisco, it is was just handfull number of survavors ( .
I'm extremely worried because of my symptoms and looking for an answer on the web doesn't help at all. I now start thinking I may have pancreatic cancer.

Here is the list of my symptoms:
_floatind stool
- Abdominal pain:
- Back pain
- Loss of appetite
- Gastric reflux
- Nausea

Thank you
Avatar universal
I am very concerned I had a CA 19-9 done and my range is 39, should I be concerned , my mom is suffering from pancreatic cancer, after getting my results I am very worry.  Please advise Thank you
Avatar universal
Unfortunately the doctors have stopped participating in these forums. Do keep in mind though that CA19-9 is a non-specific tumor marker. There are many benign processes that can cause an elevation. For example, I have a chronic bile duct/liver disease that causes elevations well into the hundreds, without any form of malignancy. This makes it very hard for my doctors of course, since they are watching for a sister carcinoma to pancreatic cancer, cholangiocarcinoma carcinoma.

Take care and keep working with your doctor to get things resolved. We are here if you need any help with your mother. Wishing her the best with this nasty disease and hope she's a success story.
Avatar universal
Thank you for your reply it's well appreciated,  I am hoping for the best. As well for my Mom she still fighting . I am very grateful for your comment.  

Hopefully I will post next time great news! Regards
506791 tn?1439842983
On the converse to the above, they did not, to my knowledge use the CA19-9 level in my PanCan diagnosis.  However, during the pre-chemo work up (CT scan And full blood panel) they did measure that and a second marker (CgA) that my oncologist looks at as general indicators of activity.  She said both were negligible.
Avatar universal
Yes, that is typically how they are used. They aren't specific enough to be used as a diagnostic tool (I.e. you have cancer). But they do provide a reliable marker that tracks the course of the disease and efficacy of the treatments. Basically everyone will have their own baseline. However, some patients have a genetic flaw that prevents the production of CA19-9 and the marker is then useless.

Given that you levels are low, this is a good sign.
506791 tn?1439842983
I am an incredibly fortunate man, not only that they found the tumor early enough that surgery was an option, but in the way I am healing and tolerating the chemo. Pain has been almost nonexistent (save for my old aches from arthritis and tendinitis), have only been a little queasy one day (not the nausea that is possible), fatigue has been deep, but not debilitating, hair seems no thinner now than before and I am able to work, albeit in a diminished capacity.

I would like to think that my example can give hope to others.
Avatar universal
Hoping that all is well with the both of you.
506791 tn?1439842983
Had a midstream CT Scan, got the results when I had my monthly chat with the oncologist a few days after.

NO recurrence, "...pancreas looks unremarkable."

NO metastasis detected in any lymph node or organ of the chest, abdomen or pelvis.

Some scarring, both from the Whipple and from older injuries.

No build ups of liquid, no thickening of the intestine or bowel.

I am now a bit more confident we will have a good outcome, for a long term.
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