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Just diagnosed, is it as good as they say?


anna
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Hi, Just had the most awful time waiting to hear what happens next after my mum was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. It seems like excellent news, they are going to remove the pancreas and it hasn't spread anywhere else - happy days. We have been told that she will have a normal life expectancy afterwards, as long as she is fit enough to have the op. It all sounds like excellent news but I have read online that there is still a small percentage live for a further 5 years, is this correct or am I trying to find a negative in the positive? I really hope I'm wrong.

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Hi Anna,


Your Mum's doctors most be pretty confident to give you such a good prognosis, let's hope this is bourn out. When you see the statistics you must separate out the majority of patients for whom surgery isn't an option, which leaves a group with a much better survival rate.


If this is a total pancreatectomy it will inevitably leave your Mum diabetic. Also because of the chance of undetectable spread it is usually still best to have chemotherapy at some point.


I wish Your Mum every success.


Mark

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Thank you Mark. I appreciated your reply. I think I wanted to be prepared for the worse and then to be given this news made me think again. We all really hope that her journey will be one of the successful ones but I can't help but read the statistics. It wasn't the doctor that gave the prognosis it was a Macmillan nurse, my hopes are that she hasn't got it wrong. Have you heard of other similar stories?

Thank you

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Hi Anna, sorry to hear your mum's diagnosis. Just be aware Macmillan nurses are not PC specialists, so do speak with your mum's oncologist to get the full picture, and also that the Whipple procedure is a major undertaking. That said, it is indeed excellent news that your mum has no spread and is a candidate to have it.


I hope it all goes as planned. Keep us updated.


Regards

Julia

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Hi Anna, most PC cannot be cured because it has spread too far when detected, but if surgery can be performed it does give a chance of cure. If you look at the survivor stories on this site you will see that even some with quite large tumours are still cancer free a few years after surgery. All you can do is try to live in the moment and not to worry too far into the future. Easier said than done, I know. I do hope all goes well for you and your mum.

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Thank you all so much for taking the time to post a reply to my question. I am not wholly convinced that the nurse is fully clued up on PC, but whatever gives us hope is a good thing. Positive thinking goes along way and whilst I understand that knowledge is key a little bit of future to look forward to has made all the difference to us as a family.

Thank you for all your kind wishes.

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Positivity does help and having the strength to face it head on. Good luck and hope the operation goes ahead smoothly and all I can say is don't be worried about asking lots of questions of the consultants.

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Hi Anna I really hope your mum's op goes well with no problems. Positivety always helps and I am so glad you all feel positive.

Don't forget to ask lots of questions.

Take care and keep being positive!

Love Sue x

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Thank you again for all your kind words of support. Met with consultant today and it turns out the nurse didn't know anything and we are back to the original bad news. Although they will operate which is good news. I wish anyone going through this all the very best.

Take Care

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Anna, as far as I know they only operate when all the tumour can be removed and there is no evidence of spread. Sadly, even when operable it often comes back. But sometimes it doesn't. You should remain positive at this stage. It is a horrible cancer but the 5 year survivors are nearly always the operable cases although there are exceptions. Some tumours are more aggressive than others too and they won't know for sure what they are dealing with until they remove it. For now at least you are in a 'good news' situation even though it may not feel like it! Didge x

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Hi Anna,

I have not been on the site for a while, so I am just catching up with your posts, I agree with Didge the fact that your Mum can have surgery is great, and as Didge says until they remove the tumour they do not know what the tumour is exactly, and then they will decide wether to give the precautionary chemotherapy. I hope she gets her surgery soon, take care sandrax

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