Stage 1 pancreatic cancer: what to expect without treatment?
I’m 82 yo. I have decided to deny all treatment and surgery. I will enjoy what time I have left. I chose not to suffer through months of being Ill due to possible complications of surgery or nine months of chemo and radiation. My question is when can I expect symptoms to appear? The mass was discovered in November of 2022.
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Oh my gosh, I would be blessed to be diagnosed with stage 1 pancreatic cancer. I would be pursuing every treatment possible in an attempt to knock it out. But I understand that you are resolute in your decision, and I know the people on this board will support you in that.
I was diagnosed 4/6/23 with stage 4 after a laparoscopy found flat, thin lesions in the abdomen. Scans had shown the tumor on the pancreas, so we knew I had cancer, but the flat lesions didn't show up on the scans. They are visually apparent, though. My symptoms are still very mild–occasional backache, especially toward the end of the day, and compromised appetite. In retrospect, they began to appear in mid-February, so approximately 7 weeks before the final, updated diagnosis. Perhaps someone else who was diagnosed at an earlier stage can post and describe their situation.
I was diagnosed with stage 3. Symptoms like change in stool and urine colour started about 3-4 months before fairly rapid weight loss and discomfort eating. Jaundice was final symptom before first diagnosis and was down to a liquid diet within a month after. I had Whipple surgery and chemo at age 60. You do what you feel is best for you. Best wishes!
I was diagnosed stage IV and had no prevailing symptoms! I went to the doctor because of a clinching side pain one day. I thought it was appendix! Fast forward, I am currently NED.
If you are stage I and the tumor is mid pancreas or tail, have they offered surgery? If so I would take it! If you are healthy otherwise you might have 4-5 weeks of recovery then you are back in the saddle. Just a thought to pursue.
To decide, personally, I would need more information.
Where is the tumor?
What size is tumor?
What were your symptoms, if any?
What information re type did the biopsy provide?
Do you have co morbidities?
What is your CA 19-9 blood test?
Where are you located?
Have you been assessed at a major pancreatic cancer center?
What do CT and PET scans show?
I was diagnosed stage 1 after successful resection (distal pancreatectomy). My first inkling of any problem was unexpected weight loss way before surgery. Right before surgery in July 2022, I felt some back pain. I went through 12 rounds of Folferinox, but the cancer showed up again on my liver. Throughout chemo, doctor always felt my abdomen to see if I felt pain, but never did. I am guessing that pain would be experienced as the cancer grows. I am now on a Gemzar/Abraxine regimen. Best wishes.
It’s good to hear your at stage 1 !
I believe that decision is certainly yours alone. Sometimes we make decisions out of fear of the unknown.
The truth is we all can experience a bad time with symptoms or with minimal side affects from chemo/radiation/surgery. A lot of it depends on your health right now! The Doctors say pancreatic cancer can be very aggressive and a tumor can double in size quickly and metastasize.
I’m 68 and was diagnosed 3 months ago with stage 2 with no intrusion to the arteries, is borderline respectable.
I’m still wrestling with the idea of a Whipple surgery after the chemo.
It’s a hard decision to make, but chemo may be a good place to ease into it, and making no other choices until you see results!
The Peace of God be with you !
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
Thank you for your comment. I’m in my 83rd year, have other medical issues, restricted mobility, heart disease, diabetes, stage 3 kidney disease. I don’t think I could survive surgery and chemo+radiation. I’m feeling very well right now, taking full advantage of it, enjoying my life while I can. I know so many people disagree with my decision but I am very comfortable with it.
Your comforting words meant a lot to me.
Stage one is very treatable and can be treated with chemotherapy. I understand you don’t want to go through with treatment
God Bless you. 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻
I definitely support you in your decision. It's good to take advantage of the remaining quality of life. So treatment is not a bad option either. But in your shoes, I very well might make the same decision.
So sorry to hear but Stage 1 pancreatic cancer has more treatment options than Stage 3-4. It’s everyone’s own personal decision, of course!
I had severe pain in my left side which radiated to my middle back in September, 2022. Was admitted and misdiagnosed with necrotizing pancreatitis. I began losing weight quickly from then on. On a follow up MRI in November a tumor was spotted in the body/tail of my pancreas. I was diagnosed with Stage 1B. A biopsy in December confirmed adenocarcinoma. A distal pancreatectomy with splenectomy was performed in early January. I healed nicely from that then had 5 back to back radiation treatments in March. I am starting 6 months of chemo shortly. I am still losing weight slowly without trying. I am now taking Omeprazole to help with burning in my stomach as well as digestive enzymes before eating anything. My digestion is not as great as before. My blood sugar has increased so am taking cinnamon capsules to try to keep it in the normal range. Do not want to be diabetic!!!
I have a lot of fatigue but assume this may still be from the radiation in March. I had a lot of nausea also, associated with the radiation for a month. Radiation made me feel really awful! Ozone therapy has truly helped my nausea and does give you more energy. I highly recommend it to anyone to add oxygen into your blood & to remove free radicles & toxins such as heavy metals from medications, vaccines, dye/contrast from CT scans & MRIs, etc. You feel like you’re 30 again after each treatment!
Best wishes in whichever decision you make! I honestly don’t want to do chemo either but with this cancer especially, you need to be more aggressive than it is, if you so choose to fight.