Topic: Newly Diagnosed
Hello Everyone! I am so glad that I found this website. My 59 year-old husband, Ron, was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 inoperable Cholangiocarcinoma, which has spread to the liver. There was no other presence of cancer in the body according to all the scans. One lesion on the liver was 10 cm on the original scan with several smaller lesions on the other lobe. It took nearly a month to determine the origin of the cancer and finally a regimen of chemo was started this month. Before chemo was started Ron was nauseated most of the time, smells bothered him, he suffered from pain, and lost 15 lbs. After his 1st chemo treatment he felt great. Pain and nausea are rare. We live in a small rural area in ND and are seeing an Oncologist in Bismarck, ND, whom we have a lot of faith in. However, he is telling us that the cancer is not curable and chemo will only prolong Ron's life for 2-5 more years, unless of course he can get his cancer into remission. Dr. was impressed how much the lesion shrunk after only 1 treatment. If blood levels continue to look good, Dr. may increase his chemo treatments to once a week for 3 weeks with 1 week off, instead of the present 2 weeks on, 1 week off. It seems to me that since the cancer was not found in the lymph or anywhere else other than the liver, Ron's chances of survival should be higher than average. Dr. did refer us to Mayo Clinic in Rochester for a 2nd opinion but Mayo wants Ron to go through 3 months of treatment and have new scans done before coming to Mayo. In 5 weeks we'll be leaving for our winter home in the Sun City, AZ area and will need to start with a new oncologist. None of our doctors in Bismarck are familiar with any oncologists in the Sun City area. Does anyone in this Forum know of a good hepatic oncologist in this area? Here are some other questions I have:
1. If the treatments shrink the tumor enough can a resection usually be done?
2. If the treatments are successful is it necessary to get another opinion?
3. How long do patients usually undergo chemo treatments as in Ron's case? Months? Years?
Thank you in advance for any feedback. I'm learning a lot reading everyone's topics. Godspeed!