Topic: Inconclusive biopsy, but surgery scheduled
Hello, everyone! Sorry that I found it necessary to discover this sight, but thankful to find others from whom we can gain valuable information . My dear husband, age 78, has been told by the doctors they think he has bile-duct cancer. I am not as knowledgeable as many of you, so I can't share much about the statistics. He presented with jaundice on April 28, and since then has had 2 ERCP's and 2 EUS's, but they still do not find definite malignancy. They find atypical cells that are suspicious, but nothing definite. The stent resolved his jaundice and he feels better than he has in months. No health problems, and he takes no medications - he is very active and people don't ever think he is over 70.
The doctors have recommended the Whipple surgery, scheduled for Aug 1 at the Medical University of SC in Charleston. We realize that IF it is cancer, then surgery is his only chance of completely removing it, but they are not sure. He is reluctant to undergo such extensive and dangerous surgery without a definite diagnosis. Do any of you have any recommendations on any other possible solutions? Did anyone proceed with surgery without knowing for sure they had cancer?
They have told us the suspicious area is at the head of the pancreas, in the distal region, and the plan is to remove half the pancreas, the bile duct, the duodenum and the upper part of the colon. He does not tolerate IV pain medication at all - it causes horrible hallucinations, which we learned after his gallbladder surgery 4 years ago, and he is very anxious about how long he will have to be on the pain medications.
He refused the surgery at first, but our research indicates that the cancer side effects will be much worse that recovering from surgery. Do you agree with this? After much prayer and discussion, he decided to go ahead and have them schedule the surgery, but I am not sure he will go through with it. I have not had time to look much at this forum, so if this has been addressed previously, I apologize.
God bless all of you - I realize that all of you here are suffering through the same things we are only beginning to experience. Thank you!