Topic: Klatskin Tumor

Hi my name is fran, my partener of 37 years was diagnosed with a Klatskin tumor March 2007. It is cancer of the gall bladder bile ducts and liver. He has been told that no treatment is available for this tumor. No one seems to know what to expect or how long he has got. He has days when he has high fevers shakes and bad pain in his gut. He  bounces back after a couple of days and it is as if he has nothing wrong with him. Eating has become quite difficult as most foods seem to upset his digestion.
It seems like I am on an emotional rollercoaster as we have no idea what to expect. Col is amazing and just takes each day as it comes and carries on as normal when he can, his mind is extremely strong and nothing seems to get him down, I would be interested to hear if anyone else has this type of tumor.

Re: Klatskin Tumor

Fran,
I had a klatskins as have others on this site.  It is a rare tumor in a rare cancer but in some cases it CAN be removed by a skilled surgeon with experience with CC and klatskins.
Please get a second or third opinion!  Surgery is the best hope for increased longevity and quality of life and it is too often the case that Dr's and medical centers with little experience with CC don't realize what is possible for some cases.
I've written many posts over the last 4 years on the importance of second opinions for surgeons with experience.  If you use the search function on top of this page  for 'second opinion' you'll find some encouragement and suggestions.   You can search on my posts as well.
Note that you can often make phone calls and send imaging results plus radiology reports with out needing to travel until a medical center feels  they may be able to help and wants to see you.  Klatskins are slow growing, that at least is in your favor.
Best wishes for a successful search.  Let us know if we can help and keep us posted.
-Peter

Re: Klatskin Tumor

Dear Peter,
thanks for your quick reply, when my husband was in hospital he was in the top liver hospital in the world, with  several top specialists.  There was a conferance on at that time. I am afraid it is managing the symtoms that has become important, quality of life and knowing what to expect. We live in Australia and being a small population there are no trials for this cancer.
Yesterday my husband Col ate more than usual, a couple of sweet mincemeat pies in puff pastry was his treat and it put him to bed for 20 hours and he feels very unwell today.
No one can give us a time frame of how quick this tumor grows, thank goodness it is slow growing, we are now planning a big family Christmas which we didn't think was going to happen but I am feeling much more positive now.
Col has days where he suffers high temps and has the shakes and then sleeps for hours but normally bounces back after a couple of days and is good for a week or so.
My husband is 70 and feels that he is very lucky, he has had a good life with a wife and family that love him so much and he is not afraid to die. I must also add that because my husband is a heavy smoker no doctor in Australia would even attempt to operate on him and he refuses to give up smoking as he has smoked since he was 9 growing up in foster homes during the war in England.
I hope to be able to manage his symtoms better by being on this site.
I really need a board to express my emotions as I am being so strong for my family that I feel I have locked my grief inside and need support from others that are facing the same thing,
thanks for listening Fran.