More aggressive options for recurrence?

Discussion Board Forums General Discussion More aggressive options for recurrence?

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    Dear Andrew, welcome to our wonderful and courageous family from all over the world. First, congratulations on your Sister being a CC Survivor. Then I just want to say that we are very BIG believers in 2nd and 3rd opinions. My husband had the same procedure and the CC returned where his Duodenum used to be.
    The first time it was 7cm and in order to use cyber knife it had to be under 7cm.
    That is unless something has changed in the past year. He had radiation first to bring down the size then he had the CyberKnife. It would be good to know what Stage she has and if the ONC is just managing (palliative care) I would want to know his prognosis. I know we don’t listen to time frames but sometimes it does help us decide if we want to proceed with chemo and radiation which may work. There is nothing wrong with sending her test and surgery reports to another Hospital to get another opinion. Best of luck and you have come to the right place. I can’t believe how many younger people we are getting here lately. Be strong and hang in there I know you will be getting some more answers.


    Hello all. I wasn’t sure where to post this question so seems like General was as good a place as any.

    My sister (age 32 at the time) had a Whipple in Sept 09 for an extrahepatic CC. 12″ duodenum, gallbladder, bile duct and head of pancreas were removed. 2 of 34 lymph nodes were positive for cancer. Surgeon was confident the tumor was fully resected. Procedure was done at UCLA.

    She recovered well from the surgery (no complications) and proceeded immediately to 6 months of adjuvant chemotherapy – Gemzar and Xeloda. I believe it was 8 cycles (2 weeks on, 1 off). Chemotherapy done at UCLA.

    While she’s had clean scans every 6 months since then, her most recent scan showed a 22x20mm necrotic lesion in the porta hepatis. Biopsy confirmed it’s cancer. Sucks, but what can you do, right?

    The oncologist wants her to meet with a radiology oncologist and start radiation in a couple of weeks (and potentially another round of chemo) which is fine but when asking questions, it seemed like he was considering this to be more managing the disease.

    My questions are: is there more that we can do? Is another resection possible? It seems like the only “cure” is resection or liver transplant and I didn’t really understand why neither of those are an option (and I was too frazzled/it didn’t occur to me to ask at the time). Should we be seeking a second opinion? And is that opinion another oncologist or a surgeon? I keep reading about CyberKnife. Is that something we should pursue instead of radiation?

    It’s somewhat confusing; logically I understand that recurrence of cancer is more serious than an initial diagnosis of cancer. But the size of her tumor is much smaller than two years ago and her health at the time of recurrence is much better versus two years ago. And yet the oncologist made it very clear that this time it is more serious.

    Thoughts and ideas to clarify would be greatly appreciated.


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