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dicission on whether to have chemo

glen s

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hi I have been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer it is inoperable I don't know if I should go ahead with chemo or not can anyone give advise on their experiance please.

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Hi Glen

This is a very personal decision but most people on this site have given chemo a go if they are fit enough and their consultant recommends it. I am assuming you have the more common adenocarcinoma type of pancreatic cancer. It can extend life and occasionally it can shrink an inoperable cancer enough to operate on it. Side effects can vary enormously from person to person (some people have very few) and there will always be people who choose not to have it if there is no chance of cure. you don't say if it has spread anywhere else or is just in the pancreas. My partner was operated on but got liver tumours about 8 months later and lived a year more with quite aggressive chemo for a few months until he could not have any more because of blood problems and although he was offered more a few months later he declined it for the last 3 months and went downhill quite quickly after that but he was unwilling to risk more side effects. While it was working quite well he was willing to put up with the side effects but when he thought he did not have long left, he decided against more. There are two or three people on here who have lasted quite a long time and are still having chemo on and off so it does sometimes seem to give quite a lot more time. I wish you good luck in your decision and you can always change your mind further down the road if you wish.


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Hi Glen, welcome but sorry to hear of your diagnosis.

Didge's post about covers it really.

I'm guessing this is all still quite raw and you are still taking everything in. Everyone is so different, whether they are ill or not! My husband, diagnosed early 2013, chose to go the chemotherapy route as he felt he had to do 'something'. He suffered a lot with fatigue and in the end the chemo wasn't working and he got more sick so the decision to stop was taken for him in a sense. Around the same time he was diagnosed, someone else who posts here was also diagnosed, similar ages and same stage. He had the same chemotherapy as Ray, but fared much better. He has gone on to have nanoknife treatment (only available privately) and is enjoying life to the full, going on many holidays and is very well at the moment. This is just to demonstrate how different we are. Search for MSH's posts to see what *can* be done with chemotherapy.

Difficult decisions to be made and whatever you decide, it will be the right one for you. Good luck.

Julia x

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Hi Glen, like the others have said it's very personal as nobody reacts the same. Some people don't tolerate it well at all and others have mild side effects. Folfirinox is usually what someone in your position would have and sometimes if there is no spread of the disease and the chemo is effective it can lead to the tumour shrinking and being classed as now operable.

If you are otherwise fit and healthy I would think it was worth a try. It's obviously a scary time and my advice is just on the experiences I have had with my partner, which was it has been very effective but the side effects were very strong. So good and bad.

If you decide not to have chemo then that's just as valid an option as it's what's right for you.


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