Re: [MOL] re: pancreatic cancer [00183] Medicine On Line

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Re: [MOL] re: pancreatic cancer

    The chemotherapy could make your dad pretty sick to his stomach. However, 
there are drugs that can really help, i.e. compazine, zofran, etc. Talk to 
his doctor and demand the best drug.  Sometimes they order a cheaper drug 
first, but it doesn't work as well.
    The radiation, although necessary for treatment, can have some side 
effects. My husband had pancreatic cancer and the radiation caused changes in 
the duodenum which in turn caused a stricture. My husband had surgery to 
by-pass that stricture and he needed a stent placed in the common bile duct 
to open it up so the liver could still send bile to the small intestines.
This may not happen to your Dad, but they are things to watch for. They may 
suggest a feeding tube to maintain good nutrition which is paramount. I'm 
also assuming that your Dad is taking some kind of pancreatic enzymes to aid 
in the digestion of his fats.  We found that the oncologist did not order a 
high enough dosage and once the dosage was correct, Patrick did much better. 
    Pancreatic cancer is quick to travel to the liver and the lymph nodes, 
also to the digestive tract.  The lab test CA19-9 ( normal is 0-46, my 
husbands was 246 at diagnosis and over 2000 at his passing) is not fool 
proof, but can be an indicator of tumor growth or metastases. Good luck to 
your Dad and your family.  That fact that the whipple procedure was 
successful is encouraging.

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