Radiation for pancreatic cancer, locally or at Mayo Clinic?
Hi there my dad was diagnosed with stage 2 pancreatic cancer in December have done four rounds of chemo back at home because it is convenient for my parents.. however Dr. Nagorny that is going to do the Whipple procedure , prefers him to have the radiation at mayo .. my mom and I also think that is best! but now my dad is changing his mind about having radiation in Rochester… not sure how to handle this or convince him it is what is best for him!
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Hi @sbrake811, that is a tough decision-making situation that you family finds itself in. I'm sure you and your mother want what is best for your father and at the same time, I'm confident that your father wants what he feels will be best for himself, too. I might suggest that you ask for Dr. Nagorny's advice. He may have very specific reasons why, given the present circumstances with COVID-19, that it is preferred to have both radiation and surgery at Mayo Clinic. On-the-other-hand, he may also put your mind at ease and let you know that having radiation locally done is just as good and that a Mayo radiation oncologist can coordinate and consult with the local radiation oncologist to ensure the radiation protocol is done the way they had planned it at Mayo Clinic.
Radiation therapy usually comes from a machine that moves around you, directing radiation to specific points on your body (external beam radiation). At Mayo Clinic and some other specialized medical centers, radiation therapy may be delivered during surgery (intraoperative radiation). Additionally, In certain situations, proton beam therapy can be used to treat pancreatic cancer and it may offer fewer side effects compared with standard radiation therapy.
If intraoperative or proton beam radiation is being suggested, then that may be why the surgeon would like it to be done at Mayo Clinic.
Do you know what type of radiation treatment your father is to receive? Is he registered on the patient portal, called Patient Online Services (https://onlineservices.mayoclinic.org/content/staticpatient/showpage/patientonline)? Using the patient portal, your father can submit a question to his care team. Let me know if you need more information.
that appt is next week! thank you for your input!!
@sbrake811 I agree with @colleenyoung. You need to ask Dr. Nigorny to find out why he thinks it is best to have radiation done at Mayo. Every situation is different. I had my Whipple done 6 years ago. Last December I found out that my pancreatic cancer has come back. I met with Dr. Nagorny and my nurse practitioner – both of whom I feel are very trustworthy – and they determined that I could have my radiation at home. There must be a reason why he thinks your dad's radiation should be done at Mayo. Ask him.