• My dad has been diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer last year and doesn't give much away but said it's spread to an organ. survival rate??

    Asked by CopingWithBigC on Tuesday, March 5, 2013

    My dad has been diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer last year and doesn't give much away but said it's spread to an organ. survival rate??

    I had bone cancer before and was very open with everyone andi know everyone's different but I'm finding it hard now suddenly out the blue my Dad has been diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer. My Dad doesn't give much away and wanted to know chances of survival after it's spread. Is there anything else I should look out for symptom wise. Thank you! X

    4 Answers from the Community

    4 answers
    • FreeBird's Avatar
      FreeBird (Best Answer!)

      My heart goes out to you and your dad for all you've been through. There are different types of pancreatic cancer. I'm familiar with pancreatic adenocarcinoma, the most common one, which is what my dad has. When it spreads to another organ, it's stage 4. Stage 4 pancreatic cancer has almost no five year survival rate. It's my understanding that it has the worst outlook of all cancers. When my dad was diagnosed, they told him based on others that he might have six months to live, and maybe a little longer with treatment. There's never any way to know for sure. It's now nine months since his diagnosis. He did receive treatment for a while, that failed, and he chose not to continue with treatment, opting instead for Hospice.

      Here are a few resources for more information:


      Hospice has been very good at managing pain. There are many good days. The Hospice doctor said you never know for sure how long. So we take one day at a time and make the best of each day.

      Each case is different. So there's no way to know what's going on with your dad without talking to the doc. Best wishes to you.

      The standard chemotherapy used since the 90's has been Gemzar (gemcitabine), which is still used for people who can't tolerate the alternative combination-- FOLFIRINOX, which is harder on the body. Then there are also clinical trials, and some other combinations they can try.

      over 3 years ago
    • FreeBird's Avatar

      The main symptom dad has had is pain in his right upper abdomen, just below the rib cage. That is well-managed with morphine. You might also see a decreased appetite, jaundice or yellowing of the eyes or skin if the bile ducts are blocked, weight loss, or nausea. Dad has been fortunate to not have had much of these.

      He has unusually cold hands. Some dizziness and lightheadedness as the disease progresses. Shortness of breath, which is I think from his previous cancer, and other issues.

      over 3 years ago
    • FreeBird's Avatar

      He did have a substantial weight loss early on, but it leveled out, and he has maintained a healthy weight for months. knock wood.

      over 3 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      My feeling about survival statistics are that they are always either 0% or 100%. Anything else is about somebody else with some other cancer at some other time. It is like saying that if 20% of the people born in Hoboken died before the age of 50, and you were born in Hoboken, then you chance of survival past aged 50 is 80%, irregardless of anything else. Just makes no sense. There are always lots of "anything elses". Your dad and his cancer is more than a number. If he wants a realistic guess of his odds, he needs to get that from his oncologist based on him and his cancer and everyting else that is individual to him.

      over 3 years ago

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