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Cancer: Pancreatic & Liver Message Board

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how long does a person with pancreatic cancer live
The average life expectancy from the time of diagnosis is 3-6 months. A few people live past two years from DX and practically none make it to 5 years. There is no curative treatment for stage 3 or 4 pancreatic cancer, only what the doctors call palliative care to relieve symptoms and possibly extend the time the patient has left. People diagnosed with stage 1 or 2 cancer can survive with surgery to remove the cancerous portion of the organ. I actually know a man who is a walking miracle after being diagnosed with PC over 10 years ago.

I'm sorry if you or a loved one has this horrible disease. My Dad was diagnosed Oct 20, 2009. He had 2 chemo treatments of Gemzar before the cancer blocked his small intestine in 3 places. He had surgery the Sunday before Thanksgiving to remove the blockages. Tumors were visible under the skin around the incision within 3 days of the surgery. They looked like a rash at 1st and then grew to look like angry red marble sized lumps. When he was discharged from the hospital Dec. 1 the oncologist to us he had approx 2 weeks to live. Thankfully he has been wrong by several weeks. My Dad hasn't been in great pain til yesterday. He was admitted to the hospital to get him stabilized before the transfer to hospice. He hasn't eaten in 2 days and started throwing up blood.

Things that signal the end is near:
1. Jaundice or darkening of the skin and urine
2. Loss of appetite lasting about 2-3 weeks followed by a complete halt in eating lasting about a week & vomiting may start at any time then.
3. Increased pain.
4. sleeping almost all the time
5. Incoherent thoughts and speech &/or hallucinations
6. Ascites. Swelling of the feet/lower legs and later near the end the abdomen. This appears in about 20% of PC patients. My Dad has this condition and his belly has gotten grotesquely huge.
7. Coma usually 1-3 days
8. A marked change in an progressively slower breathing often accompanied by a rattle. Death will be very very close then usually hours.

Dr.'s & Nurses won't tell you any of this info usually. I strongly advise you to look into hospice care for the time near the end. Having lost my Father-in-Law and Mother last year and now about to lose my Dad I can tell you 1st hand not all angels have wings and sit on clouds.
Jim, I am sorry about what you are going through. You gave great information and accuracy. I hope your dad finds peace soon. It's such a horrible cancer
I recently learned of a brand-new procedure (only one has been done) where a diseased pancreas was removed and some healthy cells removed, injected into a liver, and now the liver does the job of the pancreas.

I put that out there to say, there is hope.
You can live without a pancreas being insulant dependant but the problem is the diseased pancreas because of cancer isn't usually the problem. It is the cancer not being diagnosed often until it is stage 3 or 4.
The body is amazing though. My husband has no spleen and now his liver has taken over
My grandmother had pancreatic cancer in 2008. She was a happy and healthy individual, always attending things at her church, etc and then all of a sudden it hit her hard. The tumor was so big it increased her belly size quite a bit. She was diagnosed in middle of March 2008 and died April 1st 2008 but then again, we also don't know how long she had pancreatic cancer for before it was diagnosed!
how long can a person live with stage 3 pancreatic cancer that is confinded to just the pancreauc
No one can accurately predict, byt they told my husband he had 3 to 5 months. We went straight to M D Anderson and they treated him for 3 yrs. He did die, but they gave us so much hope. His was stage 4, to intestestines, stomach, liver, etc. So it will will up to you and your disease, and your drs. Wishing you all the luck, too. I have stage 2 liver disease and Chronic Pancreatitis. So I know some of your troubles. Never quit!
Stage 3 means it has spread, You need to talk to your dr. to be sure.

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