Topic: Help for my dear mother in Northern CA


My 78 yr mom was diagnosed last Friday and 3 stints were put in by CA Pac Med Ctr Tues.  I am desperate to get more information as me, my two teen children and many others want her to last more than a year!

She has one known malignant lymph node near the liver, cancer in the bile duct, a 3.5 cm mass in the liver near the portal vein noted by "sonographic evidence suggestive of invasion of the vein", which is why they are saying that surgery is not an option.

Has anyone else been told this? What treatments did you try?

Her Kaiser MD Oncologist in Santa Rosa says he's seen just a handful of cases (he looks young).  He said he'd see her next week, then appt sec. called saying he is booked for 3 weeks.  Treatment would not even begin until she sees him. He is recommending chemo.

Does anyone have info/resources about a UCSF or other local oncologist with more case experience here in N CA with bile duct cases?

She is feeling good, eating well, not in pain but had 16 Bilirubin/Jaundice Friday which is why they did the CAT scan and the stints.  Her bilirubin is going down well now since the stints were placed.  By the way, CA Pacific Med Ctr in SF was awesome! Dr. Benmoeller did the stints.

They want to do chemo but I am unsure which approach would be best.

I see that surgery can be used to cut out the bile duct and tumor and possibly cure this.  I want to get a second opinion about this option, esp how risky surgery is, and why could they not just cut out the bad lymph node, tumor and bile duct and see if any other areas have cancer (CAT scan of upper torso was clear; they say they can do a PET scan to check other lymph nodes; I thought there was a blood test that checked tumor levels....still learning/grasping).

Also can anyone explain when resection is applicable?

She has no other health issues, walks and eats well.

Any advice appreciated re: Kaiser system in N CA or nearby and/or UC resources in N CA or S CA.

God bless you all,