Topic: Answers

Hello,

        This past week my grandmother was diagnosed with CC. She is in her mid 70's and does not want anyone to worry about her, so she keeps as much as possible about her diagnosis a secret. All I was able to gather was her doctor (a surgeon not an oncologist) is waiting a month to give her a consult. I had also heard mention that it is inoperable. If you do not wish to give advice I understand because of the disclaimer at the bottom, but I'm worried to death. Can anyone tell my why they would wait a month? How fast does CC spread? Should she try to get an oncologist referral before her meeting?

I would be very great full for any information.

Re: Answers

Hello J. Young

In general, this is not a rapidly growing type of cancer. My wife had surgery almost one month after diagnosis. It was not definately determined that her tumor was or was not operable until the surgeon started the surgery and viewed the tumor. We consulted with an oncologist after her successful liver resection.  The position of the malignancy (within the liver, near the pancreas, or somewhere in between) may indicate to the surgeon it's potential for resection, I'm not sure.  Dawn's was a Klatskin's tumor on the bile duct within the liver.  I would suggest you ask the surgeon why he feels it is inoperable.

Our prayers to you and you mother.

Richard

Re: Answers

J. Young,
My mother was also told her cc was inoperable, but I was in the room with her and the oncologist when she was told that, and I was armed with facts and ideas from my research and from this board. When I questioned the dr., he said there were too many tumors and they affected both lobes of the liver. When I asked how many tumors, he said "uncountable - maybe hundreds, or thousands." So there went all our hope out the window. It could also be inoperable because of her age, the state of her health in general, or the location of the tumors. Also, if it has metastasized to other areas, they usually won't do a resection because there's no point when the cancer is already invading other areas.

It's usually a slow-growing cancer and they made my mother wait a month also. I tried everything to get her an earlier appt., but everyone was just booked up. Though it's slow-growing, if there is ANY hope then I believe it's best to see the doc as soon as possible--just like with any other cancer, time can be of the essence. Unfortunately, wtih cc, diagnosis usually comes when the patient is already Stage IV and there are only palliative measures available.

Sorry to be so brutal - please understand that your grandmother's situation can be very different from what I'm describing. I can sympathize with your frustration because it will be very difficult to get her to divulge anything or go along with your wishes. My own grandmother, who is 90, is driving me crazy in the same way - though she doesn't have cc. It's hard to balance your need to help her with your need to respect her wishes. But you can't force her to do anything - if she's like my grandmother, strong, independent and stoic, then she's an immovable force and you shouldn't feel guilty if you can't get through to her.  Just try to be there for her and help her as much as possible and let her know that she is loved. I'm sure you're already doing those things, as you obviously love her dearly. But sometimes that's the most important thing of all.

Best of luck to you and your grandmother, and I hope you have some good news and some hope coming your way soon. Best wishes and best of luck to you,
- Joyce

Re: Answers

I can't thank both of you enough for your input.

5 (edited by rrutherford6 Thu, 16 Aug 2007 07:22:30)

Re: Answers

jyoung I have to ask  if my  user name sounds like  maybe your aunt ? If it does call or come over  and I'll let you know what I know. If your not my nephew or neice sorry but your grandmother sounds exactly like my mother.

Re: Answers

Hello,
I understand your worry that the doctors are not very quick in handling. However, this type of cancer is very slowly growing. In a month time, hardly anything will be changed. So this cannot cause her health to deteriorate quickly.
Kind regards, Iris.

Re: Answers

J.Young wrote:

Hello,

        This past week my grandmother was diagnosed with CC. She is in her mid 70's and does not want anyone to worry about her, so she keeps as much as possible about her diagnosis a secret. All I was able to gather was her doctor (a surgeon not an oncologist) is waiting a month to give her a consult. I had also heard mention that it is inoperable. If you do not wish to give advice I understand because of the disclaimer at the bottom, but I'm worried to death. Can anyone tell my why they would wait a month? How fast does CC spread? Should she try to get an oncologist referral before her meeting?

I would be very great full for any information.

Hello,
I understand your worry that the doctors are not very quick in handling. However, this type of cancer is very slowly growing. In a month time, hardly anything will be changed. So this cannot cause her health to deteriorate quickly. Kind regards and all the best wishes, Iris.

Re: Answers

I would suggest getting a second opinion on surgery.  It is often the best hope for extended longevity and quality and, as the cancer is so rare, many surgeons are not aware of what can be done.
Depending on where you are in the world there may even be a surgeon close enough for easy access. 
You can find some recommendations on this board of Hospitals and surgeons who have CC experience and a few who perform successful surgeries  other Docs do not realize are possible.
-Peter

Re: Answers

I think that the type of cancer is key, so it would be imperative to know what any biopsy showed.  Mine is adenocarcinoma, very brutal, very fast, very aggressive