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Pancreatic Cancer and Whipple Procedures?


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I'm looking for any help and advice anyone can give me regarding Pancreatic Cancer, the Whipple Procedure and Chemotherapy.

Last week, following a CT scan, my Dad was told he has something in his Pancreas. Whilst its not 100% confirmed, they are pretty sure its a tumour. He has a follow up scan tomorrow to confirm the situation for definite and establish the next steps.

They did say they don't think it has spread outside of the Pancreas. I imagine its been there since atleast February, he went to the doctors at the time as he was losing a lot of weight, but everything was put on hold due to COVID. He's also recently been diagnosed with Diabetes which will be linked.

My understanding is that if the tumour hasnt spread outside of the Pancreas and is small enough, then a Whipple Procedure would be the best option. Does anyone have any experience with this?

My Dads medical history isn't exactly straight forward. He is 59 now and about 20 years ago he had Leukemia. He had bone marrow transplant and fully recovered, but was told to expect things to go wrong with his body later in life. He also has Osteoporosis and has broken his legs a number of times, they didn't heal properly which means one leg can't be bent and is a few inches shorter than the other due to lack of cartlidge. In addition, he also has an inactive Spleen which is controlled with medication. I do worry that his medical history may prevent him from being able to have the operation.

Any help or advice anyone can be regarding this subject would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks a lot.

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PCUK Nurse Rachel R

Hi Rht123,

Welcome to the forum and thanks for your post. I'm Rachel, one of the nurses at the charity. I am sorry to hear about your Dad, I can imagine you will be very worried and anxious about the days ahead. I hope Dad's next scan goes smoothly and that an appointment is able to be organised soon to discuss the best treatment plan for Dad.

Yes you are right in saying that if the tumour is contained and has not spread locally to include blood vessels then surgery can be an option. This surgery is major, life changing surgery so it's incredibly important that the Hospital ensure that a person is fit enough for this.

If it would be helpful we would more than happy to chat to you in further detail on the phone or via email. We can go through the assessment process and what surgery involves. Our contact details are below.

I'm sure also that others will comment to let you know of their experiences.

Kind wishes,


Rachel Richardson

Pancreatic Cancer Specialist Nurse

Support Team

Pancreatic Cancer UK

email: nurse@pancreaticcancer.org.uk

support line: 0808 801 0707

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Hi Rachel,

Thanks for responding and for the information you've provided, I really appreciate it.

I'd be very grateful to hear any further information you have, so I've sent you an email to the address noted in your reply.

Thanks a lot

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