Pancreatitis or cancer?

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Hello. I am in the US but desperate for any information I can get.

My mother had her first attack of pain and elevated liver enzymes in June. They did a ct scan and MRI and said it was pancreatitis. She was in hospital for about a week. Right before she got dismissed she was told she had a 3.65cm cyst on the tail. She had another attack a few weeks later that saw her back in the hospital, and another in September. Both times they did testing and both times the cyst stayed the same size. The doctor was not willing to remove it until it got larger than 6cm, and she got cleared until February 22nd.

First of January, she started having serious pain again and went to see her primary. He ordered labs and a ct scan. Labs came back normal but the doctor said it was cancer because the tail was swollen. No mention of the cyst.

She sees a oncologist Wednesday? Has anyone had this happen and it just be cp? I'm so lost on how he was able to jump to that conclusion after the other doctor cleared her.

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  • Posted

    Hi Christina - I'm very sory with what you're going through here.

    Although I didn't have an exact situation like your Mom, I had a similar situation with a nodule on my lung that was 6mm. After a routine chest xray the party began with additional follow ups. Doctors can usually tell cancer by sizes and shapes but not always. In my case, the good news was the nodule was not getting any bigger after initially found. There was one test I had similar to an MRI called a PETSCAN that can identify "hot spots" or cancer within the body. Mine came back clean and I had onre more catscan a year later and still the nodule didn't show signs of growing.

    I guess my point is, doctors can always say something looks like cancer, but they've been proven wrong with follow up testing. Stay strong for your mother and try not to get ahead of yourself here. I wish you the best of luck with everything that's going on and please let us know the progress in the upcoming months.  

    I'm guessing, additional testing needs to be performed before an accurate diagnosis of cancer is rendered.

    Glenn

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    • Posted

      Yes, the oncologist will be performing a biopsy i assume.

      I'm just so lost how it all changed? He is basing this on swelling. Unless there was more in that report than what he told her, that is all he said , "im sorry this is cancer. Your pancreas is swollen."

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  • Posted

    hang in there Christina!

    I wish I was qualified to give you more hope on what's going on but I'm not.

    I lost my dad to pancreatic cancer. He was 57 years old and I will never forget that dark hour of my life. 

    Prayers to you and your mom - never lose hope....

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    • Posted

      Hi Maddie,

      Unfortunately, my mother did have pancreatic cancer. Diagnosed officially February 3rd. She was stage 4 after months of being misdiagnosed with pancreatitis. She never fully bounced back and was only able to complete 3 weeks of chemo before she died suddenly April 4th.

      I will definitely keep your mom in my prayers.

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    • Posted

      Oh Christina I am so so sorry. We do not know what stage mum is at as she will see consultant on Monday. She was told to week ago after CT scan that a 1cm tumor on head of pancreas. Apparently it hasn't spread so we are hoping something can be done but she's 84yr and I hear people say she's too old. Thankyou for your prayers xx
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