Topic: Chemo, No Chemo...that is the question
My dad was diagnosed with CC in the early part of September and underwent resection surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester on October 2, 2008. Surgery went extremely well. The tumor was caught in the very early stages, smack dab in the middle of the common bile duct. His surgeon, Dr. Farnell, said that he didn't remember the last time he had seen a tumor in such a good location for resection and was confident that he had removed all of the cancer. He said that if anyone had a good chance of surviving this cancer, dad did!
Dad's tumor was very small, 2.7 cm, and had come through the wall of the bile duct and spilled out into the surrounding adipose (fat) tissue. However, they removed 10 lymph nodes which were all cancer free, and there seems to be no spread to any of the surrounding organs. They intended to perform a Whipple, but did not need to because of the size and location of the tumor. Instead, they removed his common bile duct and gall bladder only. With clear margins, no positive lymph nodes, and no metastasis, radiation oncologists at Mayo recommended no radiation at this time. This past week, 6 weeks after surgery, he went back for a checkup and all news was still good. He met with a medical oncologist who said that the choice to have, or not to have, follow-up chemotherapy was going to be left up to dad. They had no data to support whether or not it would help lessen the chances of a recurrance.
Aughhh.... we need advice from those who have traveled this road. My dad has had such good news so far.... Should he go down the road of chemo as a follow up? He just turned 70 years old, but is strong. I'd appreciate any advice given.