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After surgery for PC they have found another lump.


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Hello, This is my first time on here, My mum had surgery for PC in June they took all the pancreas and the spleen away, she recovered really well for an 72 year old. she then had 3 month of chemo, but got fluid round the heart so they stopped the chemo. Now she has just gone for a scan as she was losing weight again but very slowly this time. The ct scan revealed a Lump in the same place the pancreas was, has anyone else had this or know if it could be the cancer back, as she has to wait a week before going back to the Hospital to see the Dr's. I am going with her on Monday and I want to be prepared, for whatever they are going to say. She has been feeling all right in herself, and I am so so proud of her how she has coped, with this. She has gone back to the gym going out and said apart from the sweats at night she feels all right. Any Thoughts would be great.

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My husband had the same op in May, and hasn't been right since, so it's good to hear your Mum has done so well but it sounds very stressful for you now, and my heart goes out to you both . Sorry but I don't have any advice to offer, other than I would ring the nurses here on tomorrow as they should be able to give you some guidance,

best wishes,


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Update, hospital rung my mum, said she now needs a pet scan and have cancelled her hospital appointment for Monday, but not given her an appointment for the scan, I feel our lives are on an emotional roller coster . Always waiting waiting and more waiting I do wonder if 'Trust name removed by moderator as per forum guidelines' hospital know what they are doing.

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PCUK Nurse Dianne

Hi Tracy,

Thanks for your posts, and hopefully I can answer your questions for you. I am sorry to hear you are having an anxious time at present waiting on your mum's results. There may be 2 reasons why you can have 'a lump' at the site of the previous surgery.

One reason may be due to what is called 'post surgical changes' which basically means that there may be some swelling or inflammation at the site where there was previous surgery. This is often seen in the first few months post surgery.

I believe in being honest, I am sorry the other reason is that this may represent recurrent disease at this site. I am sorry to say this. The reason that the original scan may have been cancelled and a PET scan ordered in it is place is actually quite valid. PET scans are highly specific and are often very good at detecting tumour vs 'those surgical changes'. Also we do have a lot of lymph glands around the area of the pancreas and liver, so the PET scan is often more particular at detecting lymph tissue vs tumour.

Some of you reading this may then ask why do patients not have a PET scan instead of CT scan or MRI? PET scans are quite involved, involve injection of very specific contrast and take considerably longer than your normal CT or MRI scan, so not something that every patient would be able to tolerate. Not all hospitals have a PET scanner, they are often located within private imaging practices, so can be very expensive. Normally CT and/or MRI are very good at detecting tumours in the first instance, and then the PET scan would be used as an alternative if there is any doubt. I think you will find that this is very well managed course of treatment, and then once your mother has had the PET scan I am sure the hospital will be in touch with the results. It usually takes 1-2 days for the formal report, so I would suggest if you have not heard anything within this time frame that you either ring the specialist nurse or the Consultan's secretary and ask about the appointment. Hope this is helpful and feel free to contact us if you need any further support or guidance.


Pancreatic Cancer Specialist Nurse

Support Team

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