Does anyone survive pancreatic cancer?

  1. Here's the truth...average life expectancy is 5-9 months. Those that survive longer are usually because they catch it earlier. Having said that, yes I know of someone who has survived for years. Chemotherapy has for the most part been shown to be completely ineffective for pancreatic cancer, although it is still widely prescribed because, frankly, there is nothing else to offer. There is a relatively new type of chemo regimen that seems to be helpful in shrinking some peoples tumors thus extending life expectancy for some.

    The overall death rate for this type of cancer has not changed despite all the research.

    Be positive with your friend...he/she is going to need it. The Lustgarten Foundation is the leader in providing funds for research and information. Johns Hopkins has done tremendous work on this type of cancer.

    If caught extremely early, they can perform what's called a whipple procedure but the tumor must be small enough.

    Sorry I threw a lot of info. out there but this is an area that really touches my heart.
     
  2. There is a new chemo that has a positive effects on some people with pancreatic cancer, however with my loved one, it didn't work. And I'm really sorry to say but usually the life expectency is pretty short, I didn't want to believe it at first but in the end the time line that the doctor gave us was pretty spot on. The doctor said that the reason for this is because pancreatic cancer hardly shows any signs of it and is relatively hard to detect, and once the signs starts to show (back aches, stomach pain, etc), then the cancer is relatively far along.

    I'm really really sorry, but what I learned in the end when I had to go through it with one of the most special person that I will ever have in my life, was to just be with them. Spend as much time as you can with them. Be optimistic for their sake and be strong. One of the most important thing is to buy them food that they want to eat and watch their diet especially when they get nauseous (ginger tea helps), and have drinks with electrolytes on hand (some people like gatorade, but he actually perfered the child pedialyte drink).
     
  3. I just wanted to say that I love your comment. I truely wish I had seen something like this when my family was going through this.

    And I'm sorry if my response was somewhat somber, but it was just base off my experience and that was not a pleasant one to say the least.
     
  4. Thank you. You are right - it's sheer hell watching someone you love battle cancer. It also changes your life and your outlook.

    I've totally changed my priorities; I make time for those I love and the rest can take a number. I am still a corporate climber, but I take my non-work time very seriously and I do NOT work during that time. My partner comes first, as does the rest of my family. The other stuff doesn't matter in the end.

    I'm so sorry you had to lose someone to this ugly, awful disease. I wish I could somehow make it less painful and horrible, but I can't. It sucks, plain and simple. I get it. Believe me, I do.
     
  5. Update: We found out some good news and bad. The good news is that it appears that they have caught the cancer relatively early on. It is operable and they will go in for the Whipple procedure very soon. The bad news is that during the scans, they also found a "spot" on another organ (not related to the pancreatic cancer) and they plan to biopsy it. We are feeling a little more hopeful (assuming that the other spot turns out okay).
     
  6. That's about as good as news can get with PanCan. Hang in there. My offer stands if you ever need to talk to someone who gets it. Your friend has a tough road ahead, but being operable is one major hurdle down. :smile:
     
  7. Vhdos how is your friend doing? How are you doing?
     
  8. Thanks for asking, LV:smile: I know that this may sound odd, but my friend actually turned out to be one of the "lucky" ones (it sounds odd to say that anyone with pancreatic cancer would be considered lucky...). My friend had surgery and we learned that they caught the cancer very early. The cancer was still fairly contained and the doctors felt confident that they were able to successfully remove all of it. The prognosis is about the best you can have with pancreatic cancer. We are still apprehensive, but we remain hopeful.
     
  9. ^^I'm so glad to hear that! A friend of mine knew someone who was diagnosed just a few months ago with pancreatic cancer. He died last week. :cry:
     
  10. I'm so happy to hear that Vhdos! Enjoy all thew time you spend with him/her!
     
  11. vhdos--thank you for sharing your situation.

    My dad was diagnosed with throat cancer a couple of months ago after living 8 years after an esophageal cancer diagnosis. The second time has been so much more scary than the first--I'm not sure why. My dad just finished his treatments, and is working on gaining his strength back. I give thanks to God, the Universe and every person taht said a small prayer for him during those times.

    That said, my heart goes out to your friend and you. I'll be praying for your friend's health. Any kind of cancer is scary, and I am so thankful to the other posters who had so much experience, insight, strength and hope to share.
     
  12. I'm sorry to hear that, HermesNewbie:sad:
     
  13. I'm sorry to hear about your dad. I'll say a little prayer for his recovery...
     
  14. Two of my dear friend's husband died from this. One was diagnosed in June and passed in February. It is a aggressive cancer.
     
  15. I am so happy to hear it was caught early.

    My grandfather passed 18 months ago with this awful cancer and it was my first experience watching someone fall ill and die. I think of him everyday. I am so happy to know that there might be someone that doesn't have to live that crappy existence for a time in their life. It appears so painful, I'm glad someone caught it early and that pain might be avoided.